Despite the Fourth of July weekend typically being the lowest-demand period of the year for many utilities and end-users, the fact that holiday weather would continue to be a scorcher in several regions proved to be sufficient in causing rebounds at a majority of points Friday, as a producer had correctly predicted a day earlier (see Daily GPI, July 1). Thursday's 5.9-cent futures gain following a modestly bullish storage injection report was an additional cash market booster.
Most locations were flat to a dime or so higher. Losses ranged from a couple of pennies to about a dime.
Post-holiday trading Tuesday will operate under modestly negative screen guidance after August futures closed out the week with a loss of 6.3 cents (see related story).
Predictably, business was done briskly as many traders anticipated leaving the office after lunchtime for the Fourth of July weekend. Some Canadian traders had already done deals through the weekend Thursday in order to take the Canada Day holiday off Friday.
Peak temperatures in much of the South were expected to range from the mid 90s to the 100 area Saturday. Conditions would remain relatively moderate in New England, with Boston rising only to the 80 area, but the lower Northeast could expect warmer highs from the mid 80s to around 90.
The Midwest was one of the few areas due to be cooling off, with Chicago predicted to drop about 10 degrees from Friday's high in the mid 90s, according to Weather Central.
Western temperatures would be rising sharply during the weekend, according to the Kern River bulletin board, with such disparate locations as Opal, WY, and Los Angeles reaching the mid 80s Sunday. And inland California would be sizzling, with Sacramento expected to top 100 Sunday.
SoCalGas let only one day pass without a high-linepack OFO before issuing a new one for Saturday. However, IntercontinentalExchange said Southern California border prices were up a penny or two nevertheless, although volumes traded on its platform shrank from 805,200 MMBtu Thursday to 651,300 MMBtu Friday.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Arlene were over central Mexico Friday and still had the capability of producing flash floods and/or mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said. However, it gave the system near-zero odds of redevelopment.
El Paso continued to declare the probability of a Strained Operating Condition as high due to linepack exceeding its desired levels. On the other hand, Westcoast was reporting low linepack Friday.
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