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CHICAGO: US natural gas futures slipped on Thursday, pressured by forecasts for slightly lower demand next week, as the market took a breather from its recent rally ahead of the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly storage report.

Robert DiDona of Energy Ventures Analysis said there has been a significant rally over the past two weeks and Thursday’s move is a small profit-taking ahead of the storage number. If the data is looser than market expectations, prices would fall further. The EIA weekly storage report is due to be issued at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.

Front-month gas futures fell 11.2 cents, or 2.1%, to $5.348 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) by 9:39 a.m. EDT (1339 GMT), pulling back from their highest close since February 2014 in the previous session.

Analysts forecast US utilities added 76 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas into storage during the week ended Sept. 10. That compares with a build of 86 bcf during the same week a year ago and a five-year (2016-2020) average injection of 79 bcf.

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