The cash market began the week by posting small advances Mondayon top of what was considered abnormally strong Friday pricing fora lower-demand weekend. The new increases were small, though,rarely getting above 4 cents, and some points registered as flat.

Once again there’s “no weather anywhere,” said a Mid-Atlantictrader who figured he could discount temperatures as a marketfactor after not having to run his air conditioner all weekend.Other sources agreed that except for a bit of chill in the Rockiesand Pacific Northwest, weather continues to have little to noinfluence on the gas market. A mild screen uptick provided aboutthe only cue cash could follow, one trader said.

Midcontinent trading seemed to start later than usual, said amarketer who didn’t see much action before 9 a.m. But once thingsgot going, the trend was mostly higher as cash followed Nymex up,he said. Most Midcontinent pipes began around $2.16-17 and rose by2-3 cents as the session wore on, topped by ONG finishing at$2.20-21, the marketer said. He expects the Wednesday AGA storagereport to hold last week’s course in the vicinity of 70 Bcf ininjections.

Contrary to the Midcontinent marketer’s experience, a Calgarytrader said late prices were off by a nickel or more from earlierdeals at Sumas and Westcoast Station 2. Sumas gas traded early onin the low $2.00s due to a fair amount of power generation buying,he said, and PG&E Gas Transmission-Northwest’s continuingconstraint upstream of Stanfield was still lending support toSumas, Stanfield and Malin prices. However, his last Sumas purchasewas down to $1.98, about even with Friday’s level.

Perhaps it was just due to getting settled into the routineagain after trading for a week altered somewhat by NGI’sGasMart/Power ’99 trade fair, but sources started to use the terms”quiet” and “boring” again in describing Monday’s activity. Amarketer said he got the impression that a lot of people expectedsoftness Monday after weekend prices had displayed unusual strengthand that they were surprised by the moderate firming instead.

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