Natural gas exchange traded funds brightened Thursday as the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed unexpectedly lower gas inventories.

The United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) rose 2.2% late trading Thursday. UNG has gaind 3.7% over the past week, but it is still down 2.9% year-to-date. [Natural Gas ETF Bounces Back]

NYMEX natural gas futures were up 2.2% Thursday, trading around $3.54 per million British thermal units.

The EIA revealed that inventories increased 57 billion cubic feet in the week ended Aug. 16, compared to analyst projections of a 65 bcf gain, reports Christine Buurma for Bloomberg.

“The storage number was well below expectations,” Aaron Calder, an analyst at Gelber & Associates, said in the article. “Gas demand from power generators has been strong. The forecasts are showing hotter-than-normal temperatures across the Midwest and there’s really going to be significant cooling demand.”

Commodity Weather Group forecasts higher-than-normal temperatures in the Midwest through Sept. 5.

Total storage was at 3.063 trillion cubic feet, or 56 bcf higher than the five-year average. Supply was 7.2% below the same levels year-over-year and down 7.7% week-over-week.

Showing Page 1 of 2