Natural Gas Rebounds From Three-Week Low on U.S. Winter Storm

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images (4)Natural gas rebounded from the lowest price in three weeks as a winter storm spread snow and sleet across the southern U.S., bolstering heating demand.

Futures rose as much as 1.5 percent in New York, snapping a four-day losing streak as storm alerts extended from Texas to North Carolina less than two weeks after a system stranded thousands of people in cars, buses and schools.

Gas for March delivery rose as much as 7 cents to $4.649 per million British thermal units in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and were at $4.630 at 10:44 a.m. in London. Prices have increased 9.5 percent so far this year. They closed at $4.579 yesterday, the lowest since Jan. 21.

The southern U.S. may get 1-3 inches (2.5-7.5 centimeters) of snow and ice over the next three days as the storm moves from Texas to the Atlantic, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency for 45 counties, while Atlanta shut public schools.

U.S. gas inventories have shrunk 50 percent in the 12 weeks through Jan. 31, data from the Energy Information Administration show. An estimated 49 percent of households in the country use the fuel for heating, according to the Energy Department’s statistical arm.