The cash market turned in a decidedly mixed performance Monday.In general, quotes at many western points were up a nickel or so,while the East ranged from essentially flat to down as much as adime. A marketer had a simple explanation: “The West had a littlemore weather (cooling load) than the East did.” A screen drop of 2cents only had the barest negative influence on cash, sources said.

Much as on Friday, numbers were fading in the late going Monday.”If I had it to do all over again, I would have made my purchases alot more slowly,” said a Northeast buyer. Shunning early offers ashigh as $3.18 for Transco Zone 6-NYC, he did settle on subsequentpackages in the low $3.10s. But then approaching deadline theoffers had fallen to the mid $2.90s, the buyer said. However, hethought those numbers were mostly for “stranded gas that people hadto get rid of, and not necessarily a true measure of serious marketweakness.”

A producer thought Gulf Coast prices were only moderately lowerdue at least in part to “people still thinking there’s an outsidechance for [Hurricane] Floyd to thread between Cuba and Floridainto the Gulf,” or maybe even cross over the Florida peninsula andstill have enough power to disrupt Gulf supplies. However, as ofMonday afternoon, one forecasting service was projecting Floyd’slandfall in the Carolinas towards Wednesday night. Floyd hasreached Category 4 status, the next-to-most-powerful rating forsuch storms, and was considered extremely dangerous. Duke Power andFlorida Power & Light were among Southeast utilities issuingpress releases assuring they would be as prepared as possible forFloyd.

Gert, which became the fifth hurricane of the season Monday, wasabout 1,400 miles east of the Leeward Islands and heading westward,according to the National Weather Service.

Gas prices may get more support this week from crude oilfutures, where the October contract rose another 66 cents to$24.21/bbl Monday.

The Southern California border, which had recorded Friday’sbiggest drop of almost a nickel, was Monday’s biggest rebounderwith an increase of about a dime.

An unexpected curtailment at Westcoast’s Fort Nelson Gas Plant(see Transportation Notes) was little more than a “minorannoyance,” said a marketer quoting Sumas deals that started 10cents higher at $2.50 but fell late to the just-above-flat low$2.40s.

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