Price points throughout the country varied in their responses toweather forecasts, the American Gas Association storage reportexpectations, and a rising futures screen yesterday. Despite thelack of direction, many traders agreed that weather, which wasresponsible for significant increases in the East and Midcontinentearlier in the week, is set to regain its leadership role in themarket, and push prices down heading into the weekend.

“Weather forecasts are different for the rest of the weekcompared to the last couple of days in the Northeast and GulfCoast,” one trader said. “Everything is looking mild until earlynext week, which has made me pretty bearish on prices.”

A Midcontinent marketer said another bearish indicator is thewinter “capacity balancing games” that are already manifestingthemselves in early November. “Firm gas supplies coming out ofstorage are displacing our interruptible first of month supply.Seems like people are much more willing to withdraw gas fromstorage early in the season, rather than hold off and watch pricestank like they did last spring.” Most Midcontinent points fell afew cents to a nickel yesterday.

The cold front which engulfed much of the Northeast andMid-Atlantic in high 40- to low 50-degree temperatures yesterdaycaused Gulf Coast and Northeast prices to jump out of the gatestrong, a Texas-based marketer said. The Northeast was able to holdonto the gains, with many points increasing over a dime.

Prices in the Gulf Coast and Florida weren’t so lucky. “Afterabout 9:30 a.m., Florida and Gulf Coast prices really started toslip,” one trader said. He quoted Sonat prices falling from thehigh $2.80s in early morning trading to the low $2.80-level by theend of the day.

One marketer who trades both the Gulf and Midcontinent pipes,quoted NGPL’s Louisiana and Texok pipelines trading at themid-$2.60 level, which he said was a large discount. “NGPL Texokand NGPL LA are trading right around where NGPL Midcontinent istrading. Usually, they are at a 6 to 10 cent premium over theMidcontinent pipe. I attribute the discrepancy to storage. Everyonewho owns storage on NGPL LA and Texok are at full levels. There areno buyers on those lines.”

For the second straight day California prices neither gave nortook much ground. One trader said the futures screen has not movedsignificantly enough give the region any direction, and weather ismild. While the AGA’s report of a 4 Bcf injection fell on thebullish side of industry estimates, the trader doubted its impacton the cash market. “Storage is already near the 3 Tcf range, soany small move is not going to make a lasting impression.”

In the Rockies, one trader said Kern opened with offers at$2.70, which was too high. It trended down from that level all day,but still finished the day with a slight gain into the mid $2.60s.Blanco gained the most in the region yesterday, climbing near the$2.70 level.

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