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NG market down 25¢ over last two days

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Natural gas futures wavered Wednesday as traders
weighed milder weather and ample supplies against forecasts of a hot summer and
an active hurricane season.

Natural gas for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was trading
11.5 cents lower, or 2.25%, at $4.693 a million British thermal units. Gas
futures also opened at $4.786/MMBtu.

Forecasts of cooler weather over the next three weeks were placing downward
pressure on gas prices Wednesday, but predictions of warm July and August
temperatures and an intense hurricane season kept the market from tumbling. A
rash of hurricanes could damage gas infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico,
sending prices higher.

"The summer's got people scared about possible heat, and the hurricane season
is forecast to be very active," said Kyle Cooper, an analyst with IAF Advisors
in Houston. "But we still have relatively bearish fundamentals, so we're
finding it hard to move higher."

Moderate temperatures in the major gas-consuming regions were expected to
limit the demand for natural gas for heating in the near term. Commodity
Weather Group, a Bethesda, Md. private forecaster, was predicting normal
temperature across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest from June 14 to June
18. CWG was expecting a similar pattern from June 19 to June 23, with the
exception of some above-normal temperatures in parts of the Midwest.

Surging supplies of gas from shale-rock formations were also driving gas
prices lower. Robust gas production has led to large sizeable injections of gas
into underground storage facilities each week. Total gas in U.S. storage as of
May 28 was 2.357 trillion cubic feet, about 14.9% above the five-year average
for the same week and 1.6% above last year's level for that week. The U.S.
Energy Information Administration will release its weekly gas storage report on
Thursday.

"Clearly, temperatures ... will matter, but this market is likely to start
thinking about the latest EIA underground storage numbers by this afternoon,"
wrote Peter Beutel, the president of Cameron Hanover, a New Canaan, Conn.
energy advisory firm, in a note to clients Wednesday.

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