Even though Texas is still in a holding pattern of broiling heat, other regions such as the Midwest and Northeast should see a cooling trend over the next two weeks according to the National Weather Service. As a result of moderating temperatures, natural-gas futures decreased sharply to a one-week low Tuesday.
Industry weather group Weather Services International said in a report earlier that, “July was obviously very hot for much of the nation, but for August, it looks like it’s going to be more changeable.”
Natural gas for September delivery settled 9.2 cents, or 2.29%, lower, at $3.932 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The benchmark contract touched a one-week low of $3.903/MMBtu during the session, the eighth of the last nine in which it has crossed below the psychologically important $4 floor.
Meanwhile, the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported that Tropical Storm Gert continues to weaken as it approaches the North Atlantic, adding that it posed no hazard to land and was likely to turn east and head back out to sea.
Energy traders track tropical storm activity in the event it disrupts production in the Gulf of Mexico, which is home to 10% of U.S. natural gas production.
Ongoing concerns over rising production levels also weighed on prices. Industry research group Baker Hughes said last week that the number of active rigs drilling for natural gas in the U.S. rose to 896 from 883, the fourth gain in five weeks and the highest since early March.
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