A continuing heat wave in the East and a tropical depression in the western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) were essentially insignificant to the cash market Thursday. It preferred to follow the previous day's futures drop of 11.7 cents in falling at nearly all points.

A gain of a little more than 15 cents at the Florida citygate, where Florida Gas Transmission had declared an Overage Alert Day (see Transportation Notes), and a few flat to barely higher locations in the Rockies and Midcontinent were exceptions to overall losses ranging from a little less than a nickel to about a quarter.

The Energy Information Administration's report of a 78 Bcf storage addition during the week ending July 2 was well above consensus expectations in the low 70s Bcf, and Nymex traders reacted to the bearish news in pushing the prompt-month futures contract 16.6 cents lower to $4.399 (see related story).

A tropical depression formed late Wednesday in the GOM but was accorded little chance of further development before making expected landfall near the southern end of Texas.

Temperatures were due to rise slightly, but not by much, in the eastern U.S. Friday. Rockies heat was expected to go up a bit, but outside the desert Southwest western readings will remain relatively moderate going into the weekend. The Weather Channel said most of the nation's heat was shifting southward.

A Midcontinent producer said he guessed that based on the softness of both the cash and futures markets, "the bears are still in control." They think there is enough gas in storage to not be concerned about tropical Atlantic systems, he added.

Midcontinent temperatures apparently will remain below normal in mid-July due to the rainy remnants of Hurricane Alex remnants, the producer continued, although local conditions were "very humid."

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