direct: US natural gas stocks fell less than analysts had expected over the past week.
The US Energy Information Administration data released on Thursday revealed that natural gas stocks decreased 29 billion cubic feet in the week ending March 20 to reach 2005 billion cubic feet.
Analysts had estimated that US natural gas stocks would drop by about 30 billion cubic feet in the past week.
On an annual basis, US natural gas stocks increased during the past week by 888 billion cubic feet, compared to the same period last year.
US stocks of natural gas were 292 billion cubic feet higher last week, compared to the five-year average.
By 2:32 pm GMT, the price of natural gas futures for April delivery fell by 2.2 percent to $ 1.62 per million British units.