NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's natural gas supplies rose last week, the government said Thursday.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas in storage grew by 31 billion cubic feet to 1.704 trillion cubic feet for the week ended April 12.

Analysts expected a rise of 33 billion to 37 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill (NYSE:SPGI).

The inventory level was 4.2 percent below the five-year average of 1.778 trillion cubic feet, and 31.8 percent below last year's level of 2.498 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.

Natural gas futures rose 10 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $4.31 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.

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