NEW YORK (AP) -- Natural gas prices dropped Friday on forecasts of warmer weather for the U.S.
While temperatures are expected to remain low in early February, extended forecasts suggest that warmer weather could be on the way by the middle of next month.
The price of natural gas for delivery in March fell 6.8 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $4.94 per 1,000 cubic feet on Friday. The fuel is still up 17 percent this year.
Gas prices surged to their highest level in almost four years Wednesday as cold weather covered large parts of the U.S. The rough winter has boosted demand for gas, the most widely used source of heating in the country.
In other energy trading, the price of crude oil fell 74 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $97.49 a barrel.
Heating oil rose fell 3 cents, or 1 percent, to $3.00 a gallon and wholesale gasoline fell 4.29 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $2.63 a gallon.
Agricultural futures edged higher.
Soybeans for March delivery rose 7.75 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $12.83 cents a bushel. Wheat for delivery in the same month gained 2.25 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $5.56 a bushel. Corn rose 0.5 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $4.34 a bushel.
Most metals fell.
Copper for delivery in March fell 2.95 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $3.20 per pound. April platinum fell $6.60, or 0.5 percent, to $1,375.70 an ounce and March palladium fell $3.65, or 0.5 percent, to $703.20 an ounce.
Gold for April fell $2.70, or 0.2 percent, to $1,239.80 an ounce Thursday. Silver for March delivery was flat at $19.12 an ounce.