Natural gas prices bounce as blizzard blows

Who are the winners and losers in winter weather?
Who are the winners and losers in winter weather?

Prices for natural gas are bouncing this morning in New York as a blizzard blasts through the northeastern United States.

Natural gas futures are up 3.5% to roughly $3 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Traders appear to be expecting a surge in heating demand because of the blizzard.

Roughly half of American households use natural gas for heating and cooking.

The bounce comes as prices have taken a sharp fall over the last few weeks. Natural gas prices have plunged by about 35% since late November as unusually warm temperatures in the eastern United States have crimped overall demand.

Raymond James energy analyst Pavel Molchanov said natural gas prices have "always been notoriously weather-sensitive."

"Right now, in the midst of an epic blizzard (and this pickup in gas demand for heating), a modest rebound is to be expected, though prices are still much lower than a year ago," he said.

Prices have also been pushed down amid a glut of supply from fracking operations in the United States and Canada.

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