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U.S. natgas futures slip to 5-month low on more mild weather
August 5, 2013 / 1:22 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. natgas futures slip to 5-month low on more mild weather

* Below-seasonal temperatures for Northeast, Midwest
    * Nuclear plant outages remain below normal

    By Eileen Houlihan
    NEW YORK, Aug 5 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures slid to
their lowest level in just over five months early on Monday,
pressured by continued mild weather in consuming regions in the
Northeast and Midwest despite some heat in the South.
    With a fairly quiet tropical storm front and below-normal
nuclear power plant outages, most traders expect little upside.
    But others said the market might be oversold after losing
nearly 6 percent last week and more than 6 percent the prior
week, the biggest two-week slide in 13 months.
    At 9:09 a.m. EDT (1309 GMT), front-month September natural
gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were at
$3.336 per million British thermal units, down 1.1 cents.
    The nearby contract traded as low as $3.314 in electronic
trading, the lowest mark for a spot contract since late
February, according to Reuters data.
    The National Weather Service's latest six-to-10-day
forecast, issued on Sunday, called for below-normal temperatures
in the Northeast and Midwest and along a slight area of the West
Coast, with above-normal readings across the South and other
parts of the West.
    Last week's gas storage report from the U.S. Energy
Information Administration showed total domestic inventories
rose by 59 billion cubic feet in the prior week to 2.845
trillion cubic feet, about 12 percent below last year's
record-high level, but only 1 percent below the five-year
average.  
   
    Nuclear plant outages totaled nearly 4,000 megawatts, or 4
percent of U.S. capacity, down from 4,500 MW out on Friday,
6,800 MW out a year ago, and a five-year average outage rate of
4,600 MW. 
    The U.S. National Hurricane Center said tropical cyclone
formation was not expected during the next five days.

 (Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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