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Natural gas futures slip as recent rally sputters

BY DAN STRUMPF
 
NEW YORK -- Natural gas futures slipped Tuesday, halting a three-session rally as traders question whether prices of the fuel used for heating have reached a ceiling as spring weather approaches.

Natural gas for April delivery settled 0.4 cent, or 0.1%, lower at $3.645/MMBTU on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It was the first daily loss for the fuel since last week, coming even as near-term weather forecasts signal below-normal temperatures are still expected across pockets of the U.S. Traders say they are looking ahead to milder spring temperatures that are likely to curb gas demand in the months to come.

"Winter' s almost over--we' ve got around two weeks left," said Victor Zevallos, trader at INTL Hencorp Futures in Miami. "There' s really no reason why prices should be rallying."

Roughly half of all U.S. homes are heating using natural gas, and demand typically rises sharply in the winter, boosting prices.

Dow Jones Newswires

03/12/2013

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