Natural gas prices rose for the first time in three days on expectations that warmer weather predicted for the US South and Midwest will increase demand for the fuel to produce electricity for air conditioning. Temperatures in Texas are expected to reach into the low 90s Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) early this week and hit 80 degrees in Oklahoma and Missouri. Warmer weather should help slow the rise in inventories that are eighty one percent higher than a year earlier, analysts said. “We're supposed to see warmer weather in parts of the country next week so there is going to be some demand,” for gas, said David Chang, managing director of energy trading at Bank of America in New York. Natural gas for June delivery rose by 6.1 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.745 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. While prices climbed thirteen percent this week, they are still seventeen percent lower than at this time last year.
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