NY cocoa ends firm but off 4-1/2-mth high, sugar eases
Aug 3 (Reuters) - U.S. cocoa futures closed firm on Friday, but pared gains after hitting the highest level in 4-1/2 months as bullish options dealing, strong charts and the firm sterling encouraged heavy buying.
Raw sugar futures settled down a shade on improved production expectations in the Northern Hemisphere, while arabica closed higher.
2:31 PM SETTLE NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
CHNG CHNG VOL Sugar OCT 22 -0.08 -0.4% 21.78 22.14 36,905 Sugar MAR 22.44 -0.06 -0.3% 22.24 22.53 14,444 Cocoa SEP 2398 20 0.8% 2,361 2,436 14,474 Cocoa DEC 2411 15 0.6% 2,376 2,444 8,194 Coffee SEP 173.8 1.15 0.7% 171.30 174.20 7,419 Coffee DEC 176.55 1.25 0.7% 173.95 176.90 4,942 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG ICE SUGAR 64,034 110,090 96,213 ICE COCOA 27,886 21,347 21,645 ICE COFFEE 14,764 21,986 22,048
* Benchmark October raw sugar futures inched down 0.04 cent to finish at 22.00 cents a lb, their lowest settlement since July 5.
* For the week, the spot contract closed down 2.3 percent.
* Market bucked the day's firm trend in commodities as dealers viewed the recent rally as overdone with expectations for increasing supplies from crops in the Northern Hemisphere and as harvest progresses in top grower Brazil - traders.
* India's sugar futures hit a new contract high for the third straight session on Friday on strong consumer demand amid fears that the ongoing drought could sharply trim production in the next crop year, beginning on Oct. 1.
* Total open interest fell by 2,935 lots to 671,377 lots by Aug. 2 - ICE data.
* September arabica futures rose 2.15 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $1.7380 per lb.
* For the week, the contract was virtually flat.
* Market lifted by the weak U.S. dollar against a basket of major currencies - traders.
* The strong commodity complex also provided some spillover support - traders.
* Total open interest dropped by 2,404 lots to 135,851 lots on Aug. 2 - ICE data.
* Differentials for many arabica coffee beans sitting in U.S. warehouses were flat to lower this week, encouraging many growers to keep their product off the cash market and sell to ICE Futures U.S. - U.S. importers.
* Benchmark September cocoa futures closed up $29, or 1.2 percent, at $2,398 a tonne, having touched $2,436, the highest since mid-March.
* For the week, the spot contract closed up 2.9 percent.
* Chart-based buying helped lift the market as it climbed for seven days out of the past eight sessions, moving higher above the 200-day moving average - traders.
* Sterling jumped against the U.S. dollar, providing additional support - traders.
* Options-related buying helped lift the market with active call buying at $2,400 on September options, which expired at the end of the session, and at $2,700 in December - traders.
* This buying at higher levels caused dealers to speculate that the market will continue to move up - traders.
For related news and prices, click on the codes in brackets: Sugar futures/spreads Sugar cash prices Coffee futures/spreads Coffee cash prices Cocoa futures/spreads Cocoa cash prices
RELATED NEWS AND OTHER TOPICS All sugar news All coffee news All cocoa news All softs news All commodities news Softs diary Weather news Foreign exchange rates SPEED GUIDES (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson in New York; Editing by Dale Hudson)
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