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U.S. natgas futures slide 5 pct after six straight gains

NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures lost ground on Wednesday after six straight days of gains, pressured by profit-taking ahead of Thursday's weekly inventory report despite cooler weather forecasts for next week that should stir more heating demand.

At 12:35 p.m. EDT (1635 GMT), front-month gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange slid 17.7 cents, or 5 percent, to an intraday low of $3.354 per million British thermal units.

The nearby contract, which had gained about 24 percent in the previous six sessions, on Tuesday posted a new 2012 high of $3.546.

(Reporting By Joe Silha; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

((joe.silha@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 646 223 6071)(Reuters Messaging: joe.silha.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS NYMEX/NATGAS