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AM Power Report: Dailies could ascend with load, gas

Power dailies could advance Tuesday, Dec. 19, as generally stronger demand expected at midweek combines with recent gains at the natural gas futures complex.

After gaining 13.3 cents in the previous session, January 2018 natural gas futures were trading 2.6 cents lower at $2.719/MMBtu at 7:07 a.m. ET.

On the demand side, load outlooks for midweek are mostly aimed higher.

In the Northeast, demand in New England is expected to hit highs at 17,500 MW on Tuesday and 17,560 MW on Wednesday, while load in New York is seen cresting at 20,817 MW on Tuesday and 21,097 MW on Wednesday. Farther south, PJM Western region demand could top out at 53,872 MW on Tuesday and 56,134 MW in the middle of the workweek, while PJM Mid-Atlantic load could reach highs at 35,430 MW on Tuesday and 37,293 MW on Wednesday.

In the Midwest, PJM AEP region load is poised to peak at 16,589 MW on Tuesday and 17,304 MW at midweek, while PJM ComEd demand is forecast to touch a high near 12,755 MW on Tuesday and 13,119 MW on Wednesday.

In the South, load in the ERCOT is called to reach 41,041 MW on Tuesday and 40,970 MW on Wednesday, bucking the broad uptrend.

In the West, California load is expected to see highs at 30,887 MW on Tuesday and 30,778 MW on Wednesday.

In forward action, January 2018 power predominantly notched gains in the week's opening session Monday, in tandem with front-month natural gas futures that added value in trading to ultimately drive fueling costs higher.

In the East, power trades for January 2018 delivery were lifted by more than $3 to the high $60s in New England and bolstered by nearly $2 to the low $40s at PJM West. Further along the forward curve, deals for February 2018 power were similarly assessed in the high $60s in New England and in the low $40s at PJM West.

In the Midwest, prompt-month power tacked on almost $2 in transactions done in the high $30s at PJM AD and picked up roughly 90 cents in trades carried out in the low $30s at PJM Northern Illinois, while a similar offering shed around $1 against the wider uptrend in deals assessed in the low to mid-$30s at MISO Indiana. Looking ahead, February 2018 power was marked in the low to mid-$30s overall.

In the South, gains on either side of $2 at the ERCOT hubs took pricing for January 2018 power to the low to high $20s. Regional price activity for February 2018 power spanned the mid- to high $20s.

In the West, California saw month-ahead power values climb nearly $2 to the high $30s at North Path-15 and ascend by about $3 to the low $40s at South Path-15, as front-month power prices rose by almost $2 to the low $30s at Mid-Columbia and the high $20s at Palo Verde. Further out, pricing for February 2018 power ran through the low to high $30s in California and through the mid- to high $20s elsewhere in the region.

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