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Power dailies pull lower amid lackluster fundamentals

After posting mixedmoves the day prior, next-day power markets across the U.S. weretethered to the downside Thursday, Sept. 29, bogged down by outlooks forsubdued demand and retreating spot natural gas prices.

Despite reports of a during the weekended Sept. 23, the new front-month November contract closed its debut sessiondown 4.3 cents at $2.959/MMBtu. In spot gas trading, values were biased loweras markets reflected pressures of declining demand ahead of the weekend.

NEPOOL-Massfirms; PJM West, NY Zone G ease

Next-day trades in the East, with the exception ofdeals at NEPOOL-Mass held a slightly downward bias Thursday as values reflectedexpectations of waning Friday demand and lower spot gas prices.

Defying the almost nationwide downtrend were trades atNEPOOL-Mass, which were heard in the high $20s to low $30s, up less than adollar from Wednesday. However, other markets in the East headedlower. New York Zone G dailies were exchanged in the high teens, down less thana dollar on the session while PJM West traded power a dollar lower from midweekand ranged in the high $20s.

Day-ahead markets also unraveled with New York marketsdown $1 to $2 on the day to averages at $17.25 at Zone A, $18.07 at Zone G and$18.40 at Zone J. Mass hub tumbled $4.50 to average at $31.46.

Demand is expected to fall. Load in New England isforecast to hit a Friday high at 14,570 MW, down 730 MW from Thursday, whiledemand in New York could top out at 18,648 MW on Friday, off almost 300 MW fromThursday's anticipated peak. Mid-Atlantic load forecasts arejumbled with the PJM Mid-Atlantic region expected to see Friday demand crest at30,800 MW, tumbling more than 1,300 MW from Thursday, while load in the PJMWestern region should surpass 47,700 MW on Friday, rising roughly 400 MW fromthe previous day.

Midwestvalues pressured by conflicting fundamentals

Power packages in the Midwest took a small step backThursday amidst choppy Friday demand forecasts and mixed spot gas prices. MISOIndiana noted most of the day's action with power deals done in the low $30s,down less than a dollar from Wednesday.

Friday load in the PJM AEP region could reach 14,761MW, easing slightly from Thursday, while the PJM ComEd region should see Fridaydemand touch a high near 11,780 MW, up roughly 300 MW from the day prior.

Texasdailies bogged down by weak demand, varied gas prices

Next-day trading in Texas saw little movement Thursdaydespite outlooks for falling Friday demand and varied spot gas prices.

ERCOT is expecting demand to run up to 44,965 MW onFriday, dropping roughly 4,000 MW from Thursday. Despite the slack load forecast,next-day deals at ERCOT North were down but little changed from Wednesday andspanned the mid-$20s.

Likewise, day-ahead markets were mixed but littlechanged. DAMs at ERCOT Houston averaged $1.57 lower at $24.72 and ERCOT Southeased 32 cents to $24.98, however DAMs at ERCOT West were up almost a dollar at$24.38 and ERCOT North gained $1.33 to average at $24.23.

Westmarkets edge lower in revised trade

A combination of subdued weekend demand due tonext-day schedule revisions along with soft spot gas prices pulled down powerprices in the West on Thursday.

Markets in the West traded power for Saturday, Oct. 1,delivery with typically soft demand weekend pulling values lower.

Hubs in California saw the session's biggest losses,with power at North Path-15 and South Path-15 traded in the low $30s, down frommidweek indexes of $37.00 and $35.75, respectively.

Trading activity in the Northwest also favored thedownside with on-peak transactions at Mid-Columbia shedding roughly $3 in thelow $20s while COB deals were posted in the mid-$20s for a daily loss of closeto $2.

Power deals in the Southwest eased by about a dollarand spanned the low to mid-$20s at Palo Verde and the mid-$20s at Mead.

The California ISO is forecasting Friday demand topeak at 33,119 MW, down more than 3,000 MW from Thursday.

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.