Natural gas futures eased lower at the front of the curve early Friday as the market continued to assess balances following updated storage data that landed in line with expectations.

NGI Morning Natural Gas Price & Markets Coverage

The May Nymex contract was down 2.6 cents to $1.731/MMBtu at around 8:30 a.m. ET.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday reported a 50 Bcf injection into Lower 48 storage for the week ending April 12. 

The result trimmed the currently hefty surplus versus the five-year average by 11 Bcf week/week to 622 Bcf. The year/year surplus fell to 424 Bcf, down from 435 Bcf in the week-earlier period.

Total Lower 48 working gas in underground storage stood at 2,333 Bcf as of April 12, higher than the 2,109 Bcf five-year maximum, EIA data show.

“With degree days continuing to...