Cash prices across the board Friday displayed softness for thesecond day in a row, reflecting a moderating weather forecast forthe weekend and further into this week. Despite a small late bounceback in some markets, prices in most areas finished the dayaveraging 1 to 10 cents less than Thursday’s levels.

“Prices started out soft but then they had a bit of a laterally,” said a Midcontinent trader. “Our deals ended up maybe apenny or two shy of where we traded-out for Friday’s flow.” He saida small but consistent rise on the Nymex screen partially motivatedthe late up-tick.

“Some people were trying to sway the market down by starting toolow, but the market bounced quickly back up with a little help fromthe screen,” said another. However, short-term fundamentals arestill bearish since temperatures look like they’re going to be mildnationwide this week, he added. “The next run-up in cash is goingto depend largely on when the next cold snap will come around.”

The same scenario also was reported for the basins. A westernmarketer said the basins slightly bounced back up later in the daybut still managed to register some of the day’s biggest drops.Blanco gas averaged almost a dime less than the day prior.

Sources said utility buying was thin out West. “There were nowarnings of low inventory OFOs at either PG&E or SoCal, whichis usually our big weekend concern,” one source commented. “This isclearly an indication of low utility demand in the area, which hadbeen applying pressure on these systems for some time now,” headded.

Typical weekend softness ushered Aeco prices lower on Friday,according to a Canadian source. “Prices started in the mid to upperC$2.50s and fell to a low of C$2.40. However, a large marketerstepped in as a buyer at that level and the prices worked their wayinto the mid to upper C$2.40s in afternoon trading,” he said.

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