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Conflicting fundamentals leave US power dailies jumbled

Next-day power prices across the U.S. were variedThursday, July 7, as some markets waved aside support from mixed Friday demandoutlooks and higher spot natural gas prices.

After reports of a lower-than-expected 39-Bcf net injection to natural gas storage in the weekended July 1, the front-month August gas contract closed the day down 0.9 centat $2.777/MMBtu. Spot gas markets traded higher.

According to a July 7 forecast from AccuWeather.com,an extended heat wave may spread across much of the eastern U.S. over the nextseveral days with some areas in the south possibly seeing temperatures approachor exceed 100 degrees F.

ERCOTdailies move higher with gas, anchored by slack demand

A rise in spot gas prices boosted next-day deals inTexas on Thursday with the uptick contained by expectations of declining Fridaydemand.

ERCOT anticipates soft Friday load, with a peakexpected at 66,255 MW, down 115 MW from Thursday. However, next-day trades atERCOT North added more than a dollar from Wednesday in the low $30s.

Most DAMs in Texas nudged higher, with ERCOT North andERCOT West up close to $2 from Wednesday to average $28.98 and $28.48,respectively, while ERCOT South added almost a dollar to average $30.80.Conversely, DAMs at ERCOT Houston eased from Wednesday and averaged $32.79.

California,Northwest ease; Southwest dailies firm

Dailies in the West, excluding deals in the Southwest,leaned flat to lower Thursday as lower demand associated with next-day schedulerevisions worked to offset support from higher spot gas prices.

Power in the West was traded for July 8-9 with theinclusion of the typically lower-load weekend day pressuring values.

In California, deals at North Path-15 and SouthPath-15 eased by less than a dollar in the high $20s at NP-15 and to the high$20s to low $30s at SP-15. In the Northwest, COB trades slipped close to $2 andwere seen in the mid-$20s while Mid-Columbia transactions shed less than adollar in the high teens to low $20s. Markets in the Southeast were firm, withPalo Verde up close to a dollar in the high $20s while Mead dailies were flatto Wednesday in the low $30s.

The California ISO forecasts Friday load to run up to34,800 MW, adding about 700 MW from Thursday.

Softdemand, varied gas pressure East dailies despite PJM alert

An ongoing heatwave and some support from mixed spotgas prices failed to prevent some hubs in the East from losing ground Thursdaywith outlooks noting weaker Friday demand.

Next-day deals at NEPOOL-Mass saw the biggest losses,with power traded in the low to mid-$40s, down from a midweek index of $54.25,while transactions at PJM West slipped by about $2 in the high $40s and low$50s. Defying the trend, New York Zone G added around $2 in the mid-$50s.

Day-ahead markets were jumbled with DAMs atNEPOOL-Mass and New York Zone A dropping $7 to $9 from the midweek to average$44.13 and $75.34, respectively, while DAMs at New York Zone G and New YorkZone J added a modest $1 to $2 on the session to average $56.37 and $60.39.

Load outlooks in the Northeast are pointed lower asdemand in New England could top out at 19,900 MW on Friday, down 3,350 MW fromThursday, while New York may see a Friday high at 28,430 MW, shedding around1,100 MW from the day prior.

PJM expects mixed load in the Mid-Atlantic, as peakdemand in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region should reach 53,212 MW on Friday,slipping close to 700 MW from Thursday, while the PJM Western region projectsFriday load to touch a high at 69,644 MW, gaining almost 1,300 MW from theprevious day.

In a July 6 update, PJM issued a Hot Weather Alert forthe Mid-Atlantic region on July 7-8 and for the Dominion Region on July 8 as "forecasttemperatures in these regions will be above 90 degrees Fahrenheit."

Midwestmarkets biased lower despite fundamental support

Strong demand and higher spot gas markets helped limitlosses in the central U.S. on Thursday.

Power prices at PJM AEP-Dayton saw little change frommidweek in the low to mid-$40s while deals at MISO Indiana lost about $4 fromWednesday in the mid-$30s and low $40s.

PJM regions across the Midwest should see slightlyhigher demand Friday. PJM AEP load is called to crest at 20,895 MW on Friday,up more than 300 MW from Thursday, while the PJM ComEd region should see demandhit 18,019 MW on Friday, up about 50 MW on the day.

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.