U.S. natgas futures rise on cold weather

Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:54am EST

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* Cold weather remains in most outlooks

* Prices up for seventh straight session

* Futures still at five-month high

NEW YORK, Nov 29 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures rose slightly in quiet post-holiday trade on Friday, remaining at a five-month high as cooler weather was expected to boost heating demand.

At 9:47 a.m. EST (1447 GMT), front-month January natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were at $3.922 per million British thermal units, up 2.7 cents, in a seventh straight session of gains.

Private forecaster Commodity Weather Group on Friday forecast colder-than-normal weather for the whole nation in its 11- to 15-day outlook.

But despite the cold, some traders said record-high production, low nuclear power plant outages and comfortable inventories could limit price gains.

Data from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission showed about 6,200 megawatts, or 6 percent, of U.S. nuclear capacity was offline on Friday, down from 20,400 MW out a year ago and a five-year average outage rate of 11,500 MW.

A 30-inch (75-cm) natural gas pipeline ruptured and exploded in Missouri just before midnight on Thursday, but there was no impact to customers and futures prices showed little reaction to the news. (Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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