Ahead of the Bell: Fall in gas reserves expected

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Energy Department on Thursday is expected to report a draw of 253 billion to 258 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage inventories for the week ended Jan. 8, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The Energy Information Administration — the statistical agency of the Department of Energy — releases its weekly report at 10:30 a.m. EST.

A reading above or below estimates can influence market trading.

Last Thursday, the EIA said that for the week ended Jan. 1 natural gas inventories held in underground storage in the lower 48 states dropped by 153 billion cubic feet to about 3.12 trillion cubic feet. Analysts had expected a draw of between 151 billion and 155 billion cubic feet.