Hedge funds became less bullish on natural gas for the first time in six weeks as the coldest weather in almost 20 years gives way to higher temperatures.
Money managers cut net-long positions, or wagers on rising prices, by 3 percent in the seven days ended Dec. 31, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Bullish bets, or long positions, fell from a six-month high.
Gas slumped 4.2 percent during the report week as forecasts showed mild weather that would curb fuel consumption. The futures have surged 23 percent since Nov. 1 amid rising heating demand, which today may reach the highest level since 1996, as frigid air swept across the central U.S. toward the East Coast, according to MDA Weather Services. MDA has predicted mostly above-normal temperatures in the lower-48 states from Jan. 11 to Jan. 15.
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