Natural gas futures traded in negative territory most of Wednesday – and have declined all but three sessions so far this year – amid a persistently potent warm-weather pattern that squashed demand across much of the Lower 48.

At A Glance:

The February Nymex gas futures contract settled at $3.671/MMBtu on Wednesday, ultimately eking out a 3.2-cent gain day/day amid bargain buying in the final hour of the session. March rose 3.2 cents to $3.346.

NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. lost 25.0 cents to $5.170.

Above average temperatures across much of the central, southern and eastern United States to kick off the new year – along with...