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NYMEX Jan gas up 7.3 cents at $3.098/MMBtu as colder weather forecast

NYMEX January natural gas futures were higher in overnight US trading onforecasts of colder weather.

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At 7:15 am EST (1215 GMT), the January contract was trading at $3.098/MMBtu,up 7.3 cents.

US National Weather Service forecasts are for below-average temperaturesover small areas of the West and the bulk of the eastern two-thirds in boththe six- to 10-day and eight- to 14-day forecasts.

Colder weather in the major heat-consuming regions in the central andeastern US should boost gas demand for heating, which should acceleratestorage withdrawals.

The market declined Thursday after US inventories fell but at a lacklusterrate during the week ended November 24. The US Energy InformationAdministration reported a net 33 Bcf withdrawal that left total working stocksat 3.693 Tcf, or 309 Bcf below a year earlier and 107 Bcf below the five-yearaverage.