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NYMEX April gas contract rises in early trading on weather support

The NYMEX April natural gas futures contract rose in early trading Wednesday as traders eyed a potentially cold start to March across much of the US. 

As of 10:05 a.m. EST (1505 GMT), the contract was trading at $3.51/MMBtu, up 5.4 cents from its close on Tuesday. 

"Despite what the various groundhogs might have indicated, it appears March is going to be quite cold for the eastern part of the country and the northern," said Kilduff Report analyst Mike Fitzpatrick. 

The US National Weather Service forecasts below-average temperatures across the eastern two-thirds of the US in its six- to 10-day and eight- to 14-day outlooks. 

Price Futures Group analyst Phil Flynn also pointed to support ahead of Thursday's weekly storage report, which he believes will show a sizeable withdrawal around 160 Bcf for the week that ended Friday. 

The contract has traded so far between $3.432/MMBtu and $3.513/MMBtu. 

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