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Most power dailies favor losses at midweek; Palo Verde firms

Next-day power values across the U.S. favored the downsideWednesday, April 13, as dailies derived little support from mixed load outlooksand varied spot natural gas prices.

After tackingon gains overnight, the front-month May natural gas futures contractdefended the upside and exited the midweek session at $2.036/MMBtu, up 3.2 cents.Spot natural gas markets moved in different directions, with trades at AlgonquinCitygates seeing a sizable decline.

In other supply, total U.S. nuclear plant availability nudged higher early April 13 to85.30%, up from 85.25% on April 12 and still well above the 81.34% posted on thesame day in 2015.

East dailiesretreat with softer load, declining gas prices

Next-day power packages in the eastern U.S. posted lossesWednesday, as dailies were depressed by forecasts for mixed but predominantly lowerThursday demand and a downtick in spot natural gas prices.

Next-day deals at NEPOOL-Mass returned some of the previousday's gains, with trades done in the low to high $30s, down from Tuesday's indexof $40.75, while transactions at PJM West slipped by around a dollar as well inthe low $30s.

Day-ahead markets in the Northeast also embraced the downside,with DAM deals at NEPOOL-Mass dropping about $7 to average $31.52, while DAM tradesat New York Zone A slipped by $5 to average $34.20. DAM transactions at New YorkZone G and New York Zone J limited the downtick to around a dollar and averaged$30.95 and $31.34, respectively.

Spot gas markets floundered, with gas deals at AlgonquinCitygates falling by about 80 cents from Tuesday to average around $4.00/MMBtu,while trades at TETCO-M3 and Transco Zone 6 New York slipped by roughly 10 centson the session to drop to averages below $1.55/MMBtu and around $1.65/MMBtu, respectively.

Load forecasts in the Northeast are varied, with demandin New England called to reach 14,700 MW on Thursday, up 40 MW from Wednesday, whileload in New York is poised to hit 18,450 MW on Thursday, down 500 MW from the midweek.

Demand in the Mid-Atlantic is expected to wane, as loadin the PJM Mid-Atlantic region could crest at 30,964 MW on Thursday, tumbling morethan 600 MW from Wednesday, while demand in the PJM Western region should see aThursday high at 48,653 MW, falling more than 1,400 MW from the day prior.

ERCOTdailies sag despite rising demand

Next-day power products in Texas notched losses Wednesday,as dailies waved aside incentives from stronger Thursday load outlooks and supportfrom flat to higher spot natural gas prices.

Demand in Texas is anticipated to rise during the latterpart of the workweek, with peak load projected to touch 39,379 MW on Thursday, uproughly 2,000 MW from Wednesday. However, next-day deals at ERCOT North took littlenotice and were exchanged in the low $20s, for a daily loss of around $2.

Day-ahead markets also ran counter to rising load outlooks,with most markets falling by around $4 to post averages of $19.08 at ERCOT Houston,$18.71 at ERCOT North, $19.39 at ERCOT South and $18.53 at ERCOT West.

Spot gas markets favored gains, with gas trades at theHenry Hub adding close to 4 cents from Tuesday to average above $1.95/MMBtu, whiletransactions at El Paso Permian were steady to Tuesday and maintained an averagearound $1.75/MMBtu.

Most Westmarkets ease; Palo Verde dailies firm

Power trading activity in the West, with the exceptionof deals done at Palo Verde, favored modest losses Wednesday, in spite of supportfrom slightly stronger Thursday demand projections and a slight uptick in spot naturalgas prices.

Power deals in the Northwest eased by less than a dollarand were done in the low teens at Mid-Columbia and the mid-teens at the California-OregonBorder. In California, trades at South Path-15 also lost less than a dollar fromTuesday, with power changing hands in the mid-teens. Southwestern hubs ran counterto the trend, with Palo Verde transactions steady to the day prior in a range spanningthe high teens to the low $20s.

Spot gas markets ticked higher, with gas deals at PG&ECitygates and SoCal Border increasing by 2 cents to 3 cents from Tuesday to averageabove $1.95/MMBtu and around $1.80/MMBtu, respectively, while trades at Malin werelittle changed from Tuesday and retained an average above $1.75/MMBtu.

CAISO predicts load to crest at 27,998 MW on Thursday,up little more than 30 MW from Wednesday.

Midwestmarkets pressured by slumping demand and easing gas

Power parcels in the Midwest saw a dearth of fundamentalsupport Wednesday owing to softer Thursday load forecasts and flat to lower spotnatural gas prices.

Demand outlooks in the Midwest are aimed lower, with Thursdayload in the PJM AEP region possibly topping out at 16,131 MW, down more than 200MW from the midweek, while the PJM ComEd region estimates demand to peak at 11,314MW on Thursday, down but little changed from Wednesday's forecast high.

Spot gas markets leaned flat to lower, with gas deals atNNG Demarc shedding roughly 3 cents from Tuesday to average below $1.85/MMBtu, whiletrades at Chicago Citygates were flat to the day prior and retained an average around$1.90/MMBtu.

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