U.S. natural gas futures pushed higher on Wednesday, as investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on supplies in storage to gauge demand for the fuel.
U.S. natural gas for September delivery was at $2.852 per million British thermal units by 9:05AM ET (1305GMT), up 3.0 cents, or around 1%. It touched its highest since July 31 at $2.853 earlier.
Natural gas futures ended higher on Tuesday, notching their second straight session of gains, as near-term weather forecasts turned hotter.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Market participants now looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 32 and 42 billion cubic feet in the week ended August 4.
That compares with a gain of 20 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, a build of 29 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 54 billion cubic feet.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.010 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 8.5% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 2.9% above the five-year average for this time of year.