Getting a major boost from the expiration-day spike of 35.2 cents by July futures, most of the cash market was able to advance Friday. In doing so, it overcame bearish influences such as forecasts of declining temperatures in much of the East and the usual weekend dropoff in industrial load.

Quotes dropped from about a nickel to a quarter at several points in the Rockies and Northeast, averting an across the board run of firmness. A cooling trend was due to continue into the weekend into the Rockies, although most of the rest of the interior West would remain very hot. Even the Pacific Northwest was feeling a heat wave, with Portland, OR, predicted to peak in the high 90s Saturday, according to Madison, WI-based Weather Central.

And although the lower end of the Northeast would still be rather sultry with highs in the low 90s Saturday in such locations as Philadelphia and New York City, the region’s northern end was already cooling down.

Most points ranged from flat to nearly 55 cents higher.

August futures began their prompt-month reign with a dip of a nickel, providing slightly negative guidance for Monday’s cash market.

Midwest citygates saw strong gains despite what The Weather Channel called an “un-June-like cold front” that was due to sweep rapidly southeastward from the Great Lakes, mid-Mississippi Valley and southern Kansas Saturday into the Northeast and Deep South by late Sunday.

Highs in the South would continue to be a little below seasonal norms in the mid to high 80s Saturday in some sections, and power generation load was expected to drop further when a cold front began arriving Sunday. Nonetheless, nearly all Gulf Coast points saw substantive gains Friday.

Independence Hub in the Gulf of Mexico ended a maintenance-related reduction of production Friday morning as expected and was ramping flows back up to the approximately 900 MMcf/d level that was in effect before the work began early Thursday, said Rick Rainey, a spokesman for Enterprise Products Partners, majority owner of the hub.

SoCalGas and PG&E both ended high-linepack OFOs Saturday, and expected inland California temperatures from the mid 90s to around 100 during the weekend helped generate gains of about a quarter and nearly 35 cents at the Southern California border and PG&E citygate, respectively.

Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) renewed an Overage Alert Day (OAD) through at least Friday, and although Florida Gas Zones 1 and 2 in the production area recorded big increases, Florida Gas Zone 3 and the Florida citygate were flat.

A Florida utility buyer thought retention of the OAD failed to boost Zone 3 and citygate quotes primarily because of end-of-month balancing by shippers. He said he was not sure whether FGT would lift its OAD during the weekend, even though a lot of rain had tended to cool temperatures in Florida a bit. He thought the pipeline might keep it in place “to protect itself” from too much imbalance resolution depriving it of sufficient linepack.

Expect big gains in first-of-month indexes. July futures went off the board last Thursday at $13.105, and that was $1.189 higher than the June settlement. Nearly all bidweek trading was believed to have been completed before the weekend.

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