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AM Power Report: Prices look mixed amid varied fundamentals

Day-aheadpower values could havea mixed showing Thursday, Sept. 29, as expectations for jumbled demand at the closeof the workweek conspire with the recent volatility in natural gas futures trading.

Withthe October gas futures contract rolling off the board Sept. 28, the new front-month November contract wasunchanged early Thursday ahead of the opening bell. At last glance, the contractwas holding at $3.002/MMBtu ahead of the midmorning release of weekly gas storagedata from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The report, which will coverthe week ended Sept. 23, is expected to detail an average 54-Bcf injection for the period. The figure willcompare to the 97-Bcf five-year-average injection and the 99-Bcf addition reportedfor the corresponding week in 2015.

In termsof demand, outlooks suggest mixed but predominantly softer load at the close ofthe workweek, when business-related demand typically wanes approaching the weekendbreak.

In theNortheast, demand in New England is forecast to see highs at 15,300 MW on Thursdayand 14,570 MW on Friday, while load in New York is projected to peak at 18,946 MWon Thursday and 18,648 MW at the close of the workweek. Farther south, PJM Westernregion demand is seen holding firm against the wider decline at highs at 47,544MW on Thursday and 47,556 MW on Friday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic load is expectedto crest at 32,807 MW on Thursday and 31,085 MW on Friday.

In theMidwest, the PJM Interconnection sees load in the PJM AEP region hitting highs at14,706 MW on Thursday and 14,662 MW on Friday, while demand in PJM ComEd is poisedto defy the dominant downtrend as it is called to reach 11,562 MW on Thursday and11,748 MW on Friday.

In theSouth, demand in ERCOT could top out at 47,818 MW on Thursday and 42,753 MW at theclose of the business week. In the West, load in CAISO should near35,838 MW on Thursday and 32,581 MW on Friday.

In forwardtrade, the price of power for October delivery had a weak showing in much of thecountry Sept. 28, as a downdraft at the natural gas futures arena drove fuelingcosts lower.

In theEast, front-month power parcels shed around 30 cents in deals carried out at almost$29 at NEPOOL-Mass and gave back 75 cents in trades done atop $33 at PJM West, whilepower products for delivery in November at the two hubs were transacted in the lowto mid-$30s.

In theMidwest, losses of about 80 cents to as much as 90 cents at the PJM markets tookprice activity for month-ahead power to indexes near $33 at the AD hub and above$31 at the Northern Illinois hub, as a better-than-$1 uptick to an average at roughly$36 allowed MISO Indiana October to defy the wider decline. Power values for Novemberacross the three hubs likewise spanned the low to mid-$30s.

In theSouth, power transactions for October advanced 5 cents against the dominant downtrendto average above $32 at ERCOT Houston but fell between 50 cents and 60 cents toindexes ranging roughly from $28 to atop $30 at the rest of the ERCOT markets, asregional trading activity for November power similarly ran through the high $20sto the low $30s.

In theWest, California saw power prices for October retreat by more or less 80 cents toindexes atop $36 at North Path-15 and near $35 at South Path-15, as Mid-ColumbiaOctober deflated by about 50 cents in transactions done at close to $24 and PaloVerde October unraveled almost 20 cents in deals averaging above $27. Power pricingfor November was spread also in the low to high $30s in California and in the high$20s 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.