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Texas, West power dailies notch gains; East, Midwest markets stumble

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Texas, West power dailies notch gains; East, Midwest markets stumble

Next-day power values in the U.S. moved in different directionsFriday, May 6, with prices in Texas and the West moving higher with demand, butwith dailies in the East and Midwest waning with losses in spot natural gas markets.

In the natural gas futures arena, after ahead of the May 6 open, thefront-month June contract closed the session up 2.5 cents at $2.101/MMBtu. On theflipside, spot natural gas markets retreated.

In other supply, total U.S. nuclear plant availability increased to 81.43% early May6, up from 81.19% on May 5 but still much lower than the 84.77% recorded on thesame day last year.

East dailiesflounder with choppy load, cheap gas

Next-day price activity in the East leaned flat to lowerFriday as dailies were pressured by a combination of slack load outlooks and retreatingspot natural gas prices.

Next-day power products at NEPOOL-Mass were traded in themid-$20s, down by more than a dollar from Thursday while deals at PJM West saw littlechange on the session and were exchanged in the high $20s.

Day-ahead markets traded products for Saturday, May 7,delivery with usually softer weekend demand depressing values. DAM deals at NewYork Zone A tumbled by around $9 to average at $16.84, while DAM deals at NEPOOL-Mass,New York Zone G and New York Zone J fell by $3 to $6 on the session to post averagesof $22.03, $21.59 and $23.06, respectively.

Prices at spot gas markets decreased and failed to supportdailies. Gas deals at Algonquin Citygates averaged around $2.35/MMBtu, down froma prior-day index of $2.55/MMBtu, while losses of almost 40 cents engulfed tradesat Transco Zone 6 New York, which fell to an average below $1.45/MMBtu. Transactionsat TETCO-M3 were able to limit the downside to around 10 cents to average below$1.45/MMBtu.

Grid operators in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic expectchoppy demand to kick off the new workweek, with peak load in New England possiblyhitting 14,280 MW on May 9, up 350 MW from Friday, while demand in New York mayreach 17,389 MW on May 9, down by around 400 MW from Friday.

Load in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region could crest at 30,101MW on May 9, dropping about 600 MW from Friday, while demand in the PJM Westernregion should top out at 46,392 MW on May 9, adding more than 800 MW from Friday.

Midwestmarkets edge lower with gas

Power parcels in the Midwest favored the downside Friday,as losses in regional spot natural gas prices offset little support from variedload forecasts. PJM AEP-Dayton saw most of the action for the session, with powerdeals done in the high $20s, down from a Thursday index of $31.50.

PJM regions in the Midwest project varied load to startthe new week, with demand in the PJM AEP region possibly peaking at 14,869 MW onMay 9, up by more than 300 MW from Friday, while load in the PJM ComEd region maytouch 11,177 MW on May 9, down by little more than 40 MW from Friday.

Spot gas deals at Chicago Citygates and NNG Demarc tumbledby more than 10 cents to post averages below $1.90/MMBtu and around $1.80/MMBtu,respectively.

ERCOTdailies notch gains with demand

Next-day power products in Texas were priced at a modestpremium Friday, as gains driven by expectations of stronger May 9 demand were keptin check by sagging spot natural gas values.

ERCOT expects load to surpass 48,800 MW on May 9, up byaround 1,800 MW versus Friday's projected peak. Encouraged by demand, next-day dealsat ERCOT North were heard in the mid-$20s, up from a prior-day index of $21.48.

On the other hand, day-ahead products for low-demand Saturdaydelivery retreated with most hubs slipping by $3 to $4 from Thursday to post averagesof $18.68 at ERCOT Houston, $17.90 at ERCOT North, $17.05 at ERCOT South and $12.76at ERCOT West.

Spot gas markets in the South floundered, with El PasoPermian dropping close to 25 cents to average below $1.65/MMBtu, while gas dealsat the Henry Hub fell by about 20 cents to average below $1.85/MMBtu.

West marketsbiased higher on load expectations

Power dailies in the western U.S. moved mostly higher Fridayas traders latched on to projections for possibly higher May 9 demand due to next-dayschedule revisions but with gains limited by lower spot natural gas prices.

Next-day deals in the West were done for the combined deliverydays of May 8-9, with the inclusion of the usually higher demand weekday providinga boost to values.

In California, power deals at South Path-15 were done inthe mid-$20s for a daily increase of more than $2. Power markets in the Southwestposted gains of around $2 with Palo Verde trades seen in the high teens and low$20s while transactions at Mead were quoted in the low $20s.

Dailies in the Northwest noted mixed but mostly muted moves.Power deals at Mid-Columbia eased on the session and were heard in the low to mid-teenswhile trades at COB were steady to Thursday in the low $20s.

Regional spot gas prices fell and offered dailies no support.Gas transactions at Malin and SoCal Border dipped by more than 20 cents to postaverages below $1.75/MMBtu while deals at PG&E Citygates eased about 15 centsand averaged around $1.95/MMBtu.

The California ISO predicts that peak Saturday demand mayrun up to 25,779 MW, down by more than 1,400 MW from Friday. However, load shouldrebound by the start of the new workweek on May 9 as business-related demand usuallypicks up after the weekend.

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.