Except for a couple of Western regions, cash prices Mondayfailed to realize the strong post-holiday recovery from Thursday’splunging numbers that sources had expected. Weakness in the futuresscreen acted as an obvious drag on Eastern prices, which weremostly flat to less than a nickel higher. And one trader felt thelarger upticks in the Rockies and San Juan Basin and at theCalifornia border were more a case of “them being so weak justprior to the holiday” than any great strength in Western markets.

A Midcontinent aggregator who remains bearish overall said itwasn’t so surprising that the expected recovery Monday was so meek.A lot of people had sold bidweek swing gas all the way throughMonday, he said, “so I figured more supplies would be coming backinto the market.” And there just wasn’t enough heat in the Midwestto soak up all the gas that was available.

A marketer was hearing Midcontinent prices in the low to mid$2.30s early in the morning, but then they “rocketed down with thescreen” by almost a dime, she said. She thought the demand wasstill there, but the screen influence was too much for cash toovercome.

A Gulf Coast trader saw an up-down trend in that area’s numbersfollowed by very modest rebounds near the end, but another sourcesaid it was down all the way from the mid $1.90s to the $1.80s inEl Paso’s San Juan-Blanco pool. Blanco quotes still managed anoverall gain of almost a dime due to rising cooling load ineast-of-California and California markets.

Another dampening effect on gas prices was a big decline fromJuly 2 to Monday in nuclear power capacity being reported asunavailable, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s dailyPlant Status Reports.

Weather analysts were watching an area of disturbance in theeastern Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and northeast Honduras. Ithad the potential to develop into a tropical depression, oneforecasting service said.

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