Natural gas storage levels rose 28 Bcf (billion cubic feet) to 1,607 Bcf as of Friday, Apr. 8. Analysts polled by Bloomberg thought levels would rise 35 Bcf.

In addition, inventory was 137 Bcf less than that from a year ago.

"This is largely technical, and not a massive and sudden tightening of supply," a Gelber & Associates report said.

Nevertheless, "it forced many to make a decision today, driving the contract well past the $4.219 100-day moving average that has topped the recent price clus-ter." The report said if natural gas futures can break that technical barrier, there may be more short covering into the weekend. "Should we close below, look for some selling tomorrow."

Natural gas plays were trading in mixed territory.

Westport Innovations ( WPRT) was losing 1.6% to $24.80, Fuel Systems Solutions ( FSYS) was adding 0.8% to $27.97, Devon Energy ( DVN) was falling 0.2% to $87.55, Newfield Exploration ( NFX) was losing 1.2% to $69.86, Cheniere Energy ( CQP) was unchanged at $18.27 and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP ( KMP) was up 1.2% to $75.19.

(Published at 1:32 pm)

Wheat futures were tumbling on weather forecasts, better Russian and Ukrainian wheat production levels and profit taking in commodities.

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