Fading Summer Heat Sends U.S. Gas Lower as Power Demand Drops

Autumn is in the air for U.S. natural gas traders as prices drop amid forecasts for cooler weather that would curtail demand for the power-plant fuel.

Temperatures may be mostly normal in the Midwest from Sept. 9 through Sept. 13, according to the Weather Company. A tropical depression west of Key West, Florida will probably veer east over the next few days, bypassing oil and gas rigs and platforms in the western Gulf of Mexico, an update from the National Hurricane Center in Miami shows.

Easing heat will reduce air-conditioner use, limiting gas demand from electricity generators over the next few weeks. While sweltering summer weather has helped shrink a glut of gas in storage, stockpiles remain on course to reach a record before the winter, capping prices below $3 per million British thermal units so far this year.

“This hot weather should break over the next couple of weeks,” said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. “The $3 level may serve as a rock-solid resistance level.”

Gas futures for October delivery fell 6.9 cents, or 2.4 percent, to settle at $2.827 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have gained 21 percent this year.

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