Natural gas futures extended losses on Thursday, tumbling to a five-week low after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said natural gas inventories rose more-than-expected last week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for July delivery traded at USD4.187 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning trade, tumbling 3.05%.
It earlier fell as much as 3.7% to USD4.157 per million British thermal units, the lowest price since May 20.
The July contract traded at USD4.263 prior to the release of the EIA data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended June 17 rose by 98 billion cubic feet, after increasing by 69 billion cubic feet in the preceding week.
Analysts had expected U.S. natural gas storage to rise by 91 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.354 trillion cubic feet. Stocks were 258 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 64 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 2.418 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 126 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net injections of 64 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 109 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 851 billion cubic feet, after a net injection of 16 billion cubic feet.
In the West Region, stocks were 47 billion cubic feet below the five-year average after a net addition of 18 billion cubic feet.
At 2.354 trillion cubic feet, total working gas was within the five-year historical range.
Elsewhere, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in August plunged 4.05% to trade at a four-month low of USD90.70 a barrel, while heating oil for July delivery plummeted 4.8% to trade at USD2.793 per gallon during U.S. morning trade.
Earlier in the day, after the International Energy Agency announced that it would release 60 million barrels of oil in response to loss of supplies from Libya, with the U.S. Department of Energy contributing 30 million barrels to the cause.
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