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Power dailies begin week with gas support; Texas markets slip

Next-daypower prices in the U.S., with the exception of deals done in Texas, held anupside bias Monday, April 4, as a recovery in spot natural gas marketscounterbalanced forecasts for varied Tuesday load.

After notchinggains prior to the April 4 open, the front-month May natural gasfutures contract defended the upside and closed Monday up 4.2 cents at$1.998/MMBtu. Likewise, spot natural gas markets moved higher, with deals in theEast seeing sizable increases.

In other supply, the full return of 's Columbia GeneratingStation in Washington and increased output at 's Grand Gulf 1 inMississippi along with DukeEnergy Corp.'s Brunswick 1 in North Carolina worked to offset theloss of Ameren Corp.'sCallaway nuclear plant in Missouri to nudge total U.S. higher earlyApril 4 to 87.47%, increasing from 87.39% on April 1 and well above the 81.11%reported on the same day in 2015.

Eastdailies open week boosted by gas

Power parcels in the East took a few steps forwardMonday, as a rise in spot natural gas prices was able to offset pressures fromvaried load forecasts and sent dailies higher.

Next-day deals at New York Zone A soared, with powerpackages quoted in the low $50s, jumping from an April 1 index of $15.75, whiletrades at NEPOOL-Mass were eyed in the mid-$40s and low $50s, also up from anApril 1 index of $37.25. Transactions at PJM West were heard in the high $30s,posting a daily premium of close to $4.

Day-ahead markets edged higher with DAM deals at NewYork Zone A rising by about $40 from April 1 to average $54.29, while DAMtrades at NEPOOL-Mass amassed roughly $30 on the session to average $51.52. DAMtransactions at New York Zone G and New York Zone J were more than $10 higherfrom April 1 and posted averages of $34.30 and $34.93, respectively.

Spot gas markets favored gains, with deals atAlgonquin Citygates posting an average close to $5.75/MMBtu, up from an April 1index of $1.30/MMBtu, while trades at TETCO-M3 and Transco Zone 6 New Yorkgained more than 25 cents on the session and noted averages above $1.75/MMBtuand around $2.00/MMBtu, respectively.

Demand in the Northeast looks softer, with peakTuesday load in New England possibly touching 16,500 MW, shedding 300 MW fromMonday, while demand in New York could crest at 19,044 MW on Tuesday, sheddinglittle more than 100 MW from the day prior.

On the flipside, load in the Mid-Atlantic is set torise, with the PJM Mid-Atlantic region forecasting a Tuesday high at 35,591 MW,up more than 3,800 MW from Monday, while the PJM Western region predicts demandto top out at 52,134 MW on Tuesday, gaining more than 2,100 MW from theprevious day.

Midwestmarkets move higher with gas

Trading activity in the Midwest was biased higherMonday, as forecasts suggesting varied Tuesday demand were counterbalanced byan uptick in regional spot natural gas prices.

Power packages at PJM AEP-Dayton and MISO Indiana sawdaily gains of more than $5 with deals done in the mid-$30s at the former andthe low $30s at the latter.

PJM regions in the Midwest expect varied load to kickoff the new workweek. Peak Tuesday demand in the PJM AEP region could hit17,116 MW, climbing more than 1,100 MW from Monday while load in the PJM ComEdregion should peak at 11,670 MW on Tuesday, dropping around 200 MW from theprior day.

Spot gas markets embraced gains, with gas trades atChicago Citygates adding more than 10 cents to average around $2.00/MMBtu whiletransactions at NNG Demarc were roughly 9 cents higher from April 1 andaveraged above $1.85/MMBtu.

Westdailies exit weekend biased higher

Power markets in the West were flat to ultimatelyhigher Monday owing to support from stronger Tuesday demand outlooks andrecovering spot natural gas prices.

In California, power deals at South Path-15 were donein the low $20s, up from an April 1 index of $19.50. Power deals in theNorthwest leaned flat to higher, with on-peak trades at Mid-Columbia addingless than a dollar in the low teens while transactions at COB were quoted inthe mid-teens, gaining more than a dollar from April 1. Power packages in theSouthwest were steady, with Palo Verde deals eyed in the high teens and low$20s, up by less than a dollar from April 1 while trades at Mead saw little changeon the session in the high teens.

Spot gas markets rebounded from the prior week'slosses and supported power dailies. Gas transactions at Malin climbed by morethan 10 cents to average above $1.70/MMBtu while deals at PG&E Citygatesand SoCal Border increased by slightly less than 10 cents from April 1 andposted averages above $1.90/MMBtu and above $1.75/MMBtu, respectively.

CAISO projects peak Tuesday load to run up to 29,523MW, up more than 800 MW from Monday.

ERCOTmarkets notch losses with softer load

Power dailies in Texas moved lower Monday, with thedownside primarily driven by forecasts implying slack demand but with lossespared back by gains in spot natural gas markets.

ERCOT predicts peak Tuesday load to reach 39,031 MW,down but little changed from Monday's projected high. However, next-day dealsat ERCOT North still dropped by more than $5 and were seen in the high teens.

Day-ahead markets mirrored next-day moves and tickedlower as well, with DAM trades at ERCOT Houston, ERCOT North and ERCOT Southslipping by about $3 from April 1 to post averages of $17.82, $17.46 and$17.19, respectively, while DAM transactions at ERCOT West tumbled by roughly$10 on the session and averaged $10.16.

Limiting power market losses was an uptick in spot gasprices. Gas trades at El Paso Permian and the Henry Hub added more than 5 centsfrom April 1 and rose to averages above $1.65/MMBtu and close to $1.95/MMBtu,respectively.

Market prices and included industry data are currentas of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailedmarket data, including power,natural gas andcoal index prices, as well asforwards andfutures, visit our Commodities Pages.