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Natural Gas Rises on Forecasts of Below-Normal Temperatures

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Natural gas futures rose for a fifth day New York, reaching a four-month high, as cold weather in the eastern and central U.S. sparked demand for the heating fuel.

Gas futures climbed as colder-than-normal weather is likely in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast through Dec. 16, according to Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Maryland. Temperatures may be below-normal in the Southeast and parts of the mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions from Dec. 17 through Dec. 21, the company said.

“It’s definitely cold here,” said Rich Ilczyszyn, a broker with Lind-Waldock in Chicago. “We’re looking at bigger and bigger withdrawals from storage. We have a surplus in inventories, but those supplies are tightening.”

Natural gas for January delivery rose 3.4 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $4.522 per million British thermal units at 11:45 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas futures reached $5.545 per million Btu, the highest intraday price since Aug. 9.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Buurma in New York at cbuurma1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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