Traders returned Tuesday from a long weekend to find a much morerobust May cash market than they had left behind Friday. Many hadbeen impressed by the strong recovery of the June Henry Hub futurescontract Friday after it briefly dipped under $2, a Texas marketersaid. “We were immediately up to Friday’s highs as trading begantoday.” Weather demand wasn’t much of a factor as cool butcomfortable temperatures reign in the Midwest and Northeast marketareas, he added, “but there were still plenty of buyers up there.”

Another source said it seemed that cash got a bit of a boostTuesday morning based on market sentiment that a bottom had beenreached Friday. Traders came into the office with new confidencethat the spot market was ready to move to the upside again, hesaid. However, their new bullishness might have been tempered whenat day’s end they saw the screen had merely managed to avoid losingground, the source said.

Most of Tuesday’s upticks were in the neighborhood of a dime.They had Gulf Coast points sitting comfortably above $2 again afterhaving flirted with the $1.90s in some Friday trades. Most of theMidcontinent re-established itself around the $2 level. Canadianprices again failed to follow the general trend as intra-Albertawas flat to only slightly higher in the low C$1.70s. ContinuingEmpress constraints still keep some gas at home instead of movingto market, a trader said. Sumas quotes, though dipping as low as$1.33 in one deal, still averaged close to flat in the mid to high$1.30s, he said.

The June market remained sluggish in developing. It looks likeanother dull bidweek, a producer said, “but there’s time enough forthings to get exciting around Thursday.” A marketer reported closeMay/June convergence in doing intra-Alberta baseload deals for JuneTuesday in the same tight low $1.70s range as his incrementalnumbers. Other fixed-price quotes for June included Carthage at$2.055 and Malin at $1.69.

A producer reporting basis of plus 1.5 for Transco Station 65,minus 2 for Columbia Gulf-onshore and minus 6-6.5 forTennessee-Zone 1 said going by the basis numbers, it appearsLouisiana pipes will be scattered throughout the $2.00s. Anothersource was hearing this Gulf basis talk: Texas Eastern-South TXminus 7.5; Tetco-West LA minus 5.5; Tetco-East LA minus 4;ANR-Southeast minus 7; and NGPL-LA minus 4-4.75. A marketer whopegged Chicago citygates at plus 8.5 was hearing fixed-price talkof $2.16-18, while another trader was hearing the Rockies ingeneral at $1.68-72.

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