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US power dailies hold firm with spot gas prices; ERCOT jumps

Dealsfor next-day power delivery across the U.S. held mostly firm to prior-daylevels Tuesday, Oct. 4, with transactions in Texas seeing the biggest gains.

Whiledemand forecasts across the U.S. are mixed, spot natural gas prices offered afirm foundation for power dailies in most areas, especially in parts of theEast, where spot gas prices rallied more than 50 cents at some hubs to helpoffset a lower load outlook.

Underpinningspot gas markets, front-month November gas futures continued to recover, adding4.1 cents on the day to $2.964/MMBtu.

Humidity, spot gas pricessupport ERCOT dailies

Supportedby hot weather, higher demand forecasts and rising spot gas prices, next-daypower markets in Texas posted noteworthy gains of almost $10 at most majormarkets Tuesday.

Dailiesat ERCOT North were reported in the low to mid-$30s, up $9 on the day, whileday-ahead markets also pushed higher by $8 to $9. DAMs averaged $33.05 at ERCOTNorth, $38.22 at ERCOT South, $37.67 at ERCOT Houston and $32.73 at ERCOT West.

Loadin ERCOT will likely peak at 58,819 MW on Wednesday, almost 2,500 MW aboveTuesday's forecast high, as ERCOT meteorologist Chris Coleman calls fortemperatures to continue to push higher in the next couple of days.

Spotgas markets also offered meager support for ERCOT markets with most major gashubs seeing gains of a cent or two.

West dailies firm with steadygas prices, flat load outlook

Theprice of next-day power was flat to slightly higher at western U.S. marketsTuesday as firm demand forecasts and stalled gas prices offered some footing.

WhileCalifornia and Southwest markets were little changed, deals in the Northwestmanaged to edge $1 or $2 higher with Mid-Columbia trading in the mid- to upper$20s and COB activity pegged in the high $20s.

Bycontrast, South Path-15 and North Path-15 in California were pegged in the low$30s and mid-$30s respectively, still well above Palo Verde and Mead in theSouthwest, which traded in the low $20s and mid-$20s, respectively. Changeswere mixed and modest at all four locations moving less than $1 on the day.

CAISOdemand should peak near 30,343 MW on Wednesday, up less than 100 MW on the day,while regional spot gas prices moved a penny or two in either direction.

East dailies slightly varied by conflictingfundamentals

Next-daymarkets along the East Coast were mixed but little changed overall Tuesday astraders searched for guidance in the midst of mostly lower load forecasts andmodest support from increasing regional spot natural gas prices.

Acrossnext-day markets, NEPOOL-Mass traded power in the mid-$20s, up by less than adollar from Monday while deals at PJM West eased on the session and were heardin the mid-$30s.

Day-aheadmarkets in the Northeast were biased higher. DAMs at New York Zone G and NewYork Zone J added about a dollar and averaged $21.72 and $21.88, respectively,while DAMs at New York Zone A rose by roughly $5 and averaged $28.58. On theflipside, DAMs at NEPOOL-Mass followed load outlooks to trade a dollar lowerand noted an average of $23.29.

Midweekdemand in the Northeast is poised to fall, with New England anticipating aWednesday high at 14,790 MW, down 330 MW from Tuesday while peak load in NewYork could hit 18,493 MW on Wednesday, slipping by roughly 100 MW from Tuesday.

Mid-Atlanticdemand outlooks are mixed with the PJM Mid-Atlantic region expecting load totop out at 31,567 MW on Wednesday, more than 500 MW lower from Tuesday's forecasthigh while the PJM Western region forecasts midweek demand to crest at 51,045MW, gaining more than 1,300 MW from the day prior.

Midwest markets ease despite higher demand,rising gas prices

Outlookscalling for strong midweek demand and an uptick in spot natural gas pricesfailed to push power values in the Midwest higher Tuesday.

Power dealsat PJM AEP-Dayton were flat to Monday and spanned in the mid-$30s while MISOIndiana exchanged dailies in the high $30s, down by about a dollar on thesession.

Midweekdemand outlooks are aimed higher in the Midwest. Peak Wednesday load in the PJMAEP region could reach 15,309 MW, up by more than 150 MW from Tuesday while thePJM ComEd region should see peak Wednesday demand near 13,140 MW, increasing bymore than 800 MW from the prior day.

Market pricesand included industry data are current as of the time of publication and aresubject to change. For more detailed market data, including power, natural gas and coal index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities Pages.