Natural-gas Prices Rally As U.S. Supplies Fall More Than Expected

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Natural-gas futures rallied on Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that supplies of the commodity dropped by 113 billion cubic feet for the week ended Jan. 1. Analysts polled by Platts expected a decline of between 93 billion cubic feet and 97 billion cubic feet. The data, however, included a reclassification, which resulted in a slight increase in working gas stocks, the EIA said. Total stocks now stand at 3.643 trillion cubic feet, up 535 billion cubic feet from a year ago and 464 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. February natural gas was at $1.818 per million British thermal units, up 2.8 cents, or 1.4%. Prices traded $2.319 before the supply data.

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