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Dailies exit workweek backed up by demand, pressured by cheap gas

Expectationsof elevated July 18 demand encouraged next-day power markets across the countryto trade at a modest premium Friday, July 15, with gains at some locations heldback by sagging spot natural gas values.

At the natural gas futures complex, the front-month Augustcontract closed the workweek up by 2.9 cents at $2.756/MMBtu. Conversely, spot naturalgas markets ticked lower as deflated weekend demand pressured values across theboard.

Demandsends Mid-Atlantic values higher

Next-day power markets in the East, most notably thosein the Mid-Atlantic, ticked higher Friday with gains inspired by increased coolingdemand slightly limited by losses in spot natural gas prices. Seeing most of thesession's next-day action were on-peak deals at the PJM West, which traded in themid- to high $40s for a premium of about $4 to the day before.

On the other hand, day-ahead markets traded for lower-loadSaturday and faltered. Losses of more than $15 gripped DAMs at New York Zone A,New York Zone G and New York Zone J, which fell to averages of $28.92, $35.07 and$37.18, respectively, while NEPOOL-Mass day-ahead deals tumbled by more than $20to average $28.48.

Load outlooks in the Northeast are mixed, with New Englanddemand poised to see a July 18 high of 22,060 MW, down 1,340 MW from Friday whilepeak load in New York is called to reach 28,359 MW on July 18, up close to 150 MWfrom Friday.

Mid-Atlantic demand forecasts are markedly higher, withthe PJM Mid-Atlantic region anticipating a July 18 peak of 52,931 MW, rising bymore than 1,900 MW from Friday while PJM Western region projects load to top outat 69,910 MW on July 18, amassing more than 5,100 MW from Friday.

In a July 15 post, PJM announced a Hot Weather Alert forthe Dominion and Mid-Atlantic regions from 8 a.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET on July 18.

Incomingheat boosts Midwest dailies

Forecasts of higher cooling demand due to an incoming heatwaveprovided power markets in the Midwest with support Friday with gains possibly paredback by deflating spot natural gas prices.

Power at PJM AEP-Dayton and MISO Indiana was traded inthe low $40s, each rising from prior day indexes of $35.25 and $33.75, respectively.

Grid operators in the Mid-Atlantic anticipate strongerdemand to kick off the new workweek. Peak load in the PJM AEP region may hit 20,438MW on July 18, up by more than 700 MW from Friday while the PJM ComEd region forecastsdemand to top out at 17,629 MW on July 18, rising by more than 3,300 MW from Friday.

ERCOTmarket gains limited by declining spot natural gas prices

Next-day power packages in Texas notched modest gains Fridaywith the demand-driven uptick limited by soft spot natural gas prices.

ERCOT is forecasting July 18 demand to run up to 65,888MW, increasing by more than 1,400 MW from Friday. Bolstered by the load forecast,next-day deals at ERCOT North added more than $3 and traded in the mid-$30s.

DAMs reflected waning weekend demand with ERCOT North,ERCOT West and ERCOT South shedding around $5 to average $28.91, $30.90 and $28.87,respectively, while ERCOT Houston limited the downtick to around $2 to average $35.77.

In addition, trades at Into Southern were heard in themid-$30s, down by around a dollar from Thursday.

Most Westvalues rebound, Mid-Columbia eases in revised trade

Expectations of possibly stronger July 18 demand associatedwith next-day schedule revisions supported most major power markets in the West,Friday, with losses in spot natural gas prices preventing dailies from going anyhigher.

Next-day markets in the West traded for the combined deliverydays of July 17-18, with the higher-load weekday providing values with a boost.In California, South Path-15 added around $2 in deals done in the mid-$30s, whileincreases of about $3 to $5 were seen in the Southwest with Palo Verde and Meadexchanged in the high $30s to low $40s and low $40s, respectively. On the flipside,Northwest dailies were mixed with Mid-Columbia easing by around a dollar in thelow $20s, while COB trades added around a dollar in the mid- to high $20s.

The California ISO projects Saturday demand to run up to35,744 MW, down by around 2,800 MW from Friday but with load possibly reboundingJuly 18 as business-related demand typically recovers after the weekend.

Market prices and includedindustry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.For more detailed market data, including power,naturalgas, and coalindex prices, as well as forwardsand futures,visit our Commodities Pages.