Expectations that air conditioning usage will be cranked up this week in a big swatch of the U.S. helped drive natural gas futures up more than 7 percentMonday, to the highest level since late May.
Natural gas prices have risen more than 20 percent in the past three sessions, including a 14 percent jump on Thursday when the latest government storage data was released, showing below average inventory growth.
Weather forecasts are coming in warmer than expected in the Midwest and Northeast for the next two weeks.
Expectations of another smaller than average storage injection is also fueling further gains in natural gas.
Technically, traders are looking at next key resistance around $2.63 to $2.65 and then $2.76. Gas was trading at the resistance level, at $2.64 per million BTU in afternoon trading.
However, Barclays is still "bearish" medium term as prices approach the $2.76 high.
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