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East, Midwest dailies firm; Texas, West values falter

Values across next-day power markets across thecountry chopped around Wednesday, Sept. 28, as some hubs were able to withstandpressures from mostly lower Thursday load forecasts and a decline in spotnatural gas prices.

In gas futures trading, the front-month Octobercontract expired at $2.952/MMBtu, down 4.4 cents. Not far behind, the upcomingNovember contract dropped 4.8 cents and settled at $3.002/MMBtu. Followinglosses in futures, spot natural gas markets retreated.

Eastdailies steady despite slack fundamentals

Next-day power packages in the East leaned flat toslightly higher Wednesday as dailies ignored pressures of mixed topredominantly lower Thursday demand forecasts and a drop in regional spot naturalgas prices.

Next-day trades at NEPOOL-Mass and PJM West ranged inthe low $30s with the former up about $2 from Tuesday while the latter addedless than a dollar on the session.

Day-ahead markets in the Northeast were biased lower.DAMs at NEPOOL-Mass added more than $5 and averaged $35.96 while DAMs at NewYork Zone G and New York Zone J slipped $2 to $3 and averaged $19.30 and$19.71, respectively. DAMs at New York Zone A continued the trend but limitedlosses to less than a dollar and averaged $19.27.

Deflated demand may be in store for the Northeast asload in New England could top out at 15,340 MW on Thursday, down 150 MW fromWednesday, andThursday demand in New York may crest at 19,171 MW, slipping about500 MW from the midweek.

Mid-Atlantic load outlooks pointed in differentdirections. Thursday load in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region may run up to 32,807MW, shedding close to 200 MW from Wednesday. Demand in the PJM Western regionmay rise roughly 500 MW from Wednesday to a Thursday high of 47,489 MW.

Midwestmarkets supported demand outlooks

Projections of elevated Thursday demand provided hubsin the Midwest with a small boost Wednesday but with gains kept in check by adowntick in spot natural gas prices.

On-peak trades at MISO Indiana saw little change fromSept. 27 and were done in the low to mid-$30s.

Load in the Midwest may rise during the latter part ofthe workweek with the PJM AEP region expecting peak Thursday demand to hit14,762 MW, up more than 100 MW from Wednesday, while load in the PJM ComEdregion could surpass 11,500 MW on Thursday, rising more than 400 MW from theday prior.

ERCOTvalues unsupported at midweek

A dearth of fundamental support due to weak Thursdayload forecasts and waning spot natural gas prices pushed power prices in Texaslower Wednesday.

The ERCOT grid operator is anticipating peak Thursdayload to reach 47,725 MW, down more than 3,500 MW from the midweek. Unsupportedby demand, next-day deals at ERCOT North fell about $3 and spanned the mid-$20s.

Texas DAMs also leaned lower with most hubs slipping about$4 on the session to note averages of $26.29 at ERCOT Houston, $22.91 at ERCOTNorth, $25.30 at ERCOT South and $23.40 at ERCOT West.

Westmarkets swing lower in revised trade

A combination of soft load forecasts and lower spotnatural gas prices kept power dailies in the West tethered to the downsideWednesday.

To account for the start of the new month Saturday,power deals in the West were done for Sept. 29-30 delivery Wednesday, withtypically softer latter week demand pulling values lower.

In the Northwest, heavy-load deals at Mid-Columbiaslipped about $4 and ranged in the mid-$20s, while COB trades fell about $8 onthe session and were in the mid-$20s to low $30s.

In California, dailies at North Path-15 and SouthPath-15 shed about $3 from Tuesday and were exchanged in the mid- to high $30sand mid-$30s, respectively.

In the Southwest, transactions at Palo Verde and Meadwere seen in the mid-$20s, each down by slightly more than dollar from Tuesday.

The CAISO is expecting peak Thursday demand to touch35,809 MW, down more than 1,800 MW from Wednesday.

Market prices and included industry data are currentas of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailedmarket data, including power, naturalgas and coal indexprices, as well as forwards and futures,visit our Commodities Pages.