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AM Power Report: Values could meander with load, gas

Day-aheadpower prices could movein diverging directions Tuesday, Oct. 11, as traders consider jumbled demand forecastsfor midweek alongside the recent volatility in natural gas futures trading.

Afterrallying 8.2 cents andreaching a 21-month high in the prior session, front-month November natural gasfutures were easing slightly early Tuesday. At last glance, the contract was down1.2 cents to $3.263/MMBtu on profit taking.

Intandem with the recent surge in futures though, next-day power markets are likelyto be aimed higher Tuesday in many cases.

In termsof demand, outlooks suggest varied load at midweek.

In theNortheast, demand in New England is expected to see highs at 15,000 MW on Tuesdayand 15,050 MW on Wednesday, while load in New York is forecast to hit highs at 18,134MW on Tuesday and 18,304 MW at midweek. To the south, PJM Western region load isprojected to top out at 47,212 MW on Tuesday and 47,363 MW on Wednesday, while PJMMid-Atlantic demand is called to reach 30,804 MW on Tuesday and 30,626 MW on Wednesday.

In theMidwest, load in the PJM AEP region is seen peaking at 14,607 MW on Tuesday and14,481 MW on Wednesday, while load in PJM ComEd is expected to crest at 11,564 MWon Tuesday and 11,724 MW at midweek.

In theSouth, ERCOT demand is projected to touch a high near 48,978 MW on Tuesday and 52,765MW in the middle of the workweek. In the West, load in CAISO shouldnear 31,283 MW on Tuesday and 30,905 MW on Wednesday.

Alongthe forward curve, power values for November were mixed but mostly higher in theweek's opening session, as steadily rising front-month natural gas futures impliedan ongoing uptick in fueling costs.

In theEast, price activity for month-ahead power rose by about $3 to an index at closeto $38 at NEPOOL-Mass but slid by more than 10 cents against the wider uptrend toaverage near $36 at PJM West. Looking ahead, power prices for December were peggedin the mid-$50s in New England and in the low $40s at PJM West.

In theMidwest, power deals for November at both PJM AD and PJM Northern Illinois alsodefied the broad advance with a 65-cent decline and a better-than-20-cent slump,respectively, to indexes on either side of $35, as similar transactions at MISOIndiana added more than $1 to average near $39. Along the forward curve, power transactionsfor December were done in the high $30s overall.

In theSouth, prompt-month power values climbed by about 60 cents to average atop $32 atERCOT Houston and advanced by more than 40 cents to indexes on either side of $30at the rest of the ERCOT hubs. Regional pricing for December power similarly spannedthe high $20s to the low $30s.

In theWest, front-month power transactions in California deflated by more than 10 centsagainst the dominant uptick to an index near $37 at North Path-15 but added roughly30 cents to average at $36 at South Path-15, as similar trades rose by about 30cents at Mid-Columbia and advanced by almost 10 cents at Palo Verde to indexes atclose to $28. Power deals for December were carried out in the low $40s in Californiaand in the low $30s elsewhere in the region.

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Marketprices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication andare subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power andnatural gas indexprices, as well as forwards and futures, visitour Commodities Pages.