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Power dailies chop around with load, supported by gas

Next-day power markets in the U.S. were mixed Tuesday,April 12, as dailies reflected forecasts suggesting varied midweek demand butwith support coming from firmer spot natural gas prices.

After probing the upside overnight, the front-month May natural gasfutures contract extended gains and closed up 9.2 cents at $2.004/MMBtu.Likewise, spot natural gas markets favored gains, with only deals at TETCO-M3and NNG Demarc defying the trend.

In other supply, total U.S. rose earlyApril 12 to 85.25%, up from 84.94% on April 11 and well above the 81.95% levelnoted on the same day a year ago.

Eastmarkets mixed with varied fundamentals

Power dailies in the East moved in differentdirections Tuesday, as most hubs sought direction in the midst of forecastscalling for choppy Wednesday demand but with support coming from mostly higherspot natural gas prices.

Next-day deals at NEPOOL-Mass were done in the high$30s and low $40s, climbing from a prior-day index of $30.00, while trades atPJM West were heard in the low to mid-$30s, dropping close to $2 from Monday.

Day-ahead markets in the Northeast were biased higher,with DAM transactions at NEPOOL-Mass amassing more than $10 to average $38.71,while DAM deals at New York Zone G and New York Zone J added less than a dollarto average $32.30 and $32.86, respectively. DAM trades at New York Zone A ranthe other way and lost less than a dollar to average $39.50.

Spot gas markets mostly favored the upside.Transactions at Algonquin Citygates were posted at an average around$4.80/MMBtu, up from a prior-day index of $2.30/MMBtu, while deals at TranscoZone 6 New York added more than 5 cents to average above $1.75/MMBtu. Trades atTETCO-M3 ran the other way and slipped by roughly a cent to average slightlybelow $1.65/MMBtu.

Load is expected to fall in the Northeast, with demandin New England possibly seeing a midweek high at 14,750 MW, down 370 MW fromTuesday, while load in New York may peak at 17,934 MW on Wednesday, tumblingmore than 700 MW from the day prior.

In contrast, PJM regions in the Mid-Atlanticanticipate stronger demand, as load in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region may reach31,752 MW on Wednesday, adding about 700 MW from Tuesday, while the PJM Westernregion forecasts demand to top out at 49,620 MW on Wednesday, gaining close to900 MW from the previous day.

Midwestdailies notch losses with choppy demand and muted gas prices

Trading activity in the Midwest was oriented to thedownside Tuesday, as dailies were pressured by varied load forecasts and mixedbut mostly muted spot natural gas prices. Most of the session's action wasfocused at MISO Indiana, where power was transacted in the low $30s, tumblingfrom Monday's index of $35.25.

Midweek load forecasts in the Midwest are varied, withthe PJM AEP region anticipating peak Wednesday demand to hit 16,176 MW, addingclose to 550 MW from Tuesday, while the PJM ComEd region expects load to crestat 11,313 MW on Wednesday, shedding almost 300 MW from the prior day.

Spot gas markets were varied but saw little changeoverall, with gas trades at Chicago Citygates steady to Monday at an averagearound $1.90/MMBtu, while deals at NNG Demarc shed around a cent from Mondaybut still averaged around $1.85/MMBtu.

ERCOTmarkets supported by gas ahead of midweek

Next-day power packages in Texas eased Tuesday, asdailies were depressed by forecasts implying sluggish Wednesday demand but withlosses pared back by support from an uptick in spot natural gas prices.

Load in Texas is set to fall, with the ERCOT gridoperator projecting demand to touch 37,328 MW on Wednesday, falling by around1,700 MW from Tuesday. Next-day deals at ERCOT North eased with demand, withpower exchanged in a range spanning the low teens, for a daily loss of lessthan a dollar.

Day-ahead markets notched scant losses with demand,with DAM trades at ERCOT Houston losing more than a dollar from Monday to average$23.33, while DAM transactions at ERCOT North, ERCOT South and ERCOT West eachslipped by less than a dollar on the session to post averages of $22.93,$23.74, and $22.99, respectively.

Spot gas markets moved higher, with gas deals at ElPaso Permian and the Henry Hub adding 4 cents to 6 cents on the session to riseto averages around $1.75/MMBtu and close to $1.95/MMBtu, respectively.

Westdailies diverge despite load and gas support

Power parcels in the West moved in differentdirections Tuesday, as some markets waved aside incentives from strongerWednesday demand projections and support coming from a rise in spot natural gasprices.

CAISO forecasts peak Wednesday demand to run up to28,210 MW, up more than 100 MW from Tuesday.

In the Northwest, dailies leaned flat to higher, withMid-Columbia deals done in the low to mid-teens, up from a prior-day index of$10.57, while trades at COB saw little change from Monday and were seen in themid- to high teens.

In California, power transactions at South Path-15were posted in the mid-teens, slipping from an index of $17.75 posted onMonday.

Power hubs in the Southwest were mixed but saw littlechange overall. Power packages at Palo Verde eased from Monday in the highteens, while trades at Mead were steady to the day prior and were also seen inthe high teens.

Spot gas markets rebounded and supported dailies, withtrades at Malin, PG&E Citygates and SoCal Border posting a daily premium ofaround 2 cents to 4 cents to rise to averages above $1.75/MMBtu, greater than$1.90/MMBtu, and close to $1.80/MMBtu, respectively.

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