Surprisingly mild weather across the United States through October, as well as a steady rise in national inventories of natural gas, pushed futures contracts for the fuel to fresh lows, but prices later rose.
"In a nutshell, we have plenty of supply and nothing fresh or new about demand, which has been slack for two years plus," Peter Beutel, at the energy-advisory firm Cameron Hanover, wrote in a note to clients.
NYMEX Henry Hub natural gas futures rose 0.5 cents to $3.698 per million British thermal units, while January 2011 futures gained 1.3 cents to $3.961 per million British thermal units.
For the last six weeks, inventories of natural gas have been rising across the United States – that perceived supply glut is putting downward pressure on prices. In addition, the weather hasn't been as cold as some had expected – and it's the advent of cold weather each year that's driven an annual spike in natural gas futures contracts since 2003.
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