Natural Gas Futures Advance on Outlook for Frigid U.S. Weather

Natural gas futures climbed in New York for the first time in three days on forecasts of below- normal temperatures in early February that would boost demand for the heating fuel.

Gas gained as much as 1.1 percent after Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted a return to colder- than-usual weather in the eastern and northern U.S. from Feb. 3 through Feb. 7 after milder readings next week. Gas rose to $3.645 per million British thermal units on Jan. 22, the highest price since Dec. 7.

“There’s no doubt the colder temperatures are pushing the market higher,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Depending on how the weather pans out, we may target the $3.75 area.”

Natural gas for February delivery rose 1.5 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.569 per million British thermal units at 8:57 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 10 percent below the 100-day average. The futures have gained 40 percent from a year ago.

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