Natural gas futures spiked higher but then gave back gains in choppy trade Thursday after weekly U.S. government data showed an unexpected drawdown in the amount of fuel in storage. The Energy Information Administration said natural gas inventories fell 6 billion cubic feet from the previous week to 3.288 trillion cubic feet. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a rise of 1 billion cubic feet. Natural gas futures jumped in the wake of the data but then retreated to flip between small gains and losses. Natural gas for September delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was flat at $2.839 per million British thermal units.
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