U.S. natgas futures slip for fourth day despite cooler weather
* Cool weather remains on tap for late this month
* Prices hover near key technical trading levels
NEW YORK, Oct 18 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures edged lower for a fourth straight session early on Friday, pressured by profit-taking after climbing to a nearly four-month spot chart high earlier this week.
The nearby contract is down about 2 percent this week after rising nearly 8 percent last week in the biggest one-week run up in almost a year.
Cooler trending weather outlooks, the onset of autumn nuclear plant outages and offshore production cuts due to Tropical Storm Karen all lent support to the rise.
But some traders said healthy inventories, a fairly quiet tropical front and near-record-high production should help cap any further gains.
At 9:22 a.m. EDT (1322 GMT), front-month November natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were at $3.709 per million British thermal units, down 4.8 cents, or just over 1 percent.
The contract traded as high as $3.869 on Wednesday, the highest price for a front-month contract since late June, according to Reuters data.
Prices were hovering around the 200-day moving average near $3.69, but were still above the 100-day moving average near $3.63.
The nearby contract hit a five-week low of $3.402 in late September.
The latest National Weather Service six- to 10-day outlook issued on Thursday again called for below-normal or much-below-normal temperatures for about the eastern two-thirds of the nation, with above-normal readings only in the West.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration did not release weekly gas storage data this week because of the government shutdown. The agency said on Thursday it would release this week's data on Tuesday and next week's data at its normal day and time early Thursday.
Last week's EIA gas storage report showed total domestic inventories rose the prior week by 90 billion cubic feet to 3.577 trillion cubic feet.
Total stocks stand about 4 percent below last year's level and nearly 2 percent above the five-year average.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said no tropical cyclone formation was expected in the Atlantic basin over the next five days.
Data from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission showed about 14,000 megawatts, or 14 percent of U.S. capacity, was offline on Friday, down from 15,000 MW out on Thursday, 24,200 MW out a year ago, and a five-year average outage rate of 22,300 MW. (Editing by Jim Marshall)