Natural gas futures turned lower on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose more than expected last week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in September shed 0.51%, or 1.9 cents, to trade at $3.804 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. Futures traded at $3.875 prior to the release of the supply data.
A day earlier, natural gas futures lost 1.39%, or 5.4 cents, to settle at $3.823.
Futures were likely to find support at $3.727 per million British thermal units, the low from August 18 and resistance at $3.986, the high from August 13.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended August 15 rose by 88 billion cubic feet, above expectations for an increase of 83 billion cubic feet.
Inventories rose by 58 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change is a build of 48 billion cubic feet.
Injections of gas into storage have surpassed the five-year average for 18 consecutive weeks, alleviating concerns over tightening supplies.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.467 trillion cubic feet. Stocks were 500 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 535 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 3.090 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
Elsewhere on the Nymex, crude oil for delivery in October picked up 0.48%, or 45 cents, to trade at $93.90 a barrel, while heating oil for September delivery dropped 0.21% to trade at $2.819 per gallon.