Gas Futures Gain as Traders See Cooler Weather In the Distance

  • Cleveland could fall to 27 degrees on Nov. 25, 10 below normal
  • Stockpiles probably gained 49 bcf in government report

Natural gas futures climbed as colder weather was forecast to creep across the U.S. Midwest and Southeast, potentially stoking demand for the power-plant and heating fuel.

Temperatures will probably be lower than usual across the central U.S. and into Louisiana for Thanksgiving week, according to CWG Weather Group. Cleveland could touch 27 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 2.8 Celsius) on Nov. 25, 10 degrees below average, AccuWeather data show.

“Even normal temperatures start to get cold enough to generate some decent heating demand,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, said by phone. “I’ll bet there’s also some short-covering heading into the weekend.”

Gas futures for December delivery rose 6 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $2.32 per million British thermal units at 9:28 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 33 percent below the 100-day average.

Inventories probably expanded by 49 billion cubic feet in the seven days ended Nov. 6, according to the median of 21 analysts’ estimates before a government report scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. in Washington. That would raise storage levels to an all-time high of 3.978 trillion.

Hedge funds boosted their net-short positions in gas contracts by 6.8 percent to a record 166,165 in the week ended Nov. 3, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.

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