By Sarah Toy
Natural-gas prices fell on Wednesday, underscoring investors' concerns about a supply glut even as weather forecasts pointed to cooler temperatures for parts of the country.
Natural-gas futures fell 0.9% to $2.510 per million British thermal units after rising as much as 1.9% earlier in the day amid predictions that lower temperatures would hit the Midwest and Northeast in the next few days. Demand for natural gas tends to climb when people use their heaters in the winter and air conditioners in the summer, so changes in the weather and weather forecasts can precipitate price swings.
However, expectations that the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, would announce that domestic natural-gas stockpiles had surged by a record amount last week seemed to outweigh hopes of increased demand.
Analysts with Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., an energy-focused investment bank, said in a Tuesday note that they expected the EIA to say Thursday that natural-gas inventories had increased by 117 billion cubic feet last week, making it the largest weekly gain on record during the fall season.
Natural-gas stockpiles have been building for months, and energy-advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates said it anticipates inventory will continue growing well into November and possibly beyond that. The EIA expects 2019 dry natural-gas production to average 91.6 billion cubic feet a day, a 10% increase from the 2018 average.
Elsewhere in commodities, oil prices rose on Wednesday, with U.S. crude futures climbing 1.1% to $53.40 a barrel, and Brent, the global gauge of prices, rising 1.2% to $59.43.
Most-active gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,494 a troy ounce, spurred by global economic worries, concerns over trade talks between the U.S. and China and the possibility of further monetary easing by central banks around the world. Lower rates make gold more attractive to yield-seeking investors, as gold offers no yield for simply holding it.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 16, 2019 14:37 ET (18:37 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.