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MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures start the week on upbeat note

MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures start the week on upbeat note

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MTECHTIPS- U.S. natural gas futures edged higher on Monday, hitting their strongest level in almost a week as near-term weather forecasts turned warmer. Hot high pressure will dominate most of the U.S. in the week ahead, with highs of upper 80 s to 100 s to drive considerably stronger than normal national demand. Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on late-summer cooling demand. Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling. U.S. natural gas for September delivery was at $2.931 per million British thermal units by 8:15 AM ET (1215 GMT), up 3.8 cents, or around 1.3%. It touched its highest since August 15 at $2.943 earlier in the session. Prices saw a loss of nearly 3% last week, amid bearish weather forecasts. Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.082 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7.6% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 1.8% above the five-year average for this time of year. Early market expectations for this week’s storage data due on Thursday is for a build in a range between 37 and 47 billion cubic feet in the week ended August 18. That compares with a gain of 53 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, a build of 11 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 53 billion cubic feet

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