Natural gas jumps 6 percent after winter storm

1/22/2014 1:30 PM
By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The winter storm blanketing most of the Midwest and East Coast pushed natural gas prices to their highest level in nine months on Wednesday.

February natural gas jumped 26 cents, or 6 percent, to $4.689 per thousand cubic feet. The last time natural gas prices were this high was late April 2013.

The winter storm that hit this week stretched 1,000 miles, from Kentucky to Massachusetts, but hit especially hard in the Northeast. New York City got 11 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service, while Philadelphia's airport got 14 inches of snow.

Natural gas is the most popular form of heating in the U.S., followed by heating oil, which is used primarily in the Northeast. March heating oil rose three cents, or 1 percent, to $2.98 a gallon.

Other energy commodities also rose. March crude oil increased $1.76, or 2 percent, to $96.73 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline futures rose 5.5 cents, or 2 percent, to $2.69 a gallon.

In agricultural commodities, corn for March delivery rose a penny, or 0.3 percent, to $4.263 a bushel and soybeans rose a penny to $12.79 a bushel. Wheat fell a cent, or 0.2 percent, to $5.61 a bushel.

In metals, gold for February delivery fell $3.20, or 0.3 percent, to $1,238.60 an ounce and March silver fell 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $19.84 an ounce. March palladium rose 80 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $748.85 an ounce, platinum for April delivery rose $8.90, or 0.6 percent, to $1,462.40 and high-grade copper fell a cent to $3.34 a pound.

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