February 6, 2019 / 7:15 PM / 3 months ago

SOFTS-London cocoa at two-week high on weak pound, technical buying

(Recasts throughout; updates prices, comments; adds NEW YORK to dateline)

NEW YORK/LONDON Feb 6 (Reuters) - London cocoa futures on ICE rose on Wednesday, touching their highest levels in over two weeks on continued weakness in the British pound coupled with follow-through fund buying. Raw sugar and coffee inched higher.

COCOA

* May London cocoa settled up 29 pounds, or 1.8 percent, at 1,687 pounds per tonne, after earlier touching 1,691, its highest since Jan. 21. This was its fourth consecutive positive finish.

* Wednesday’s settle was above the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of the Jan. 31 low to the Jan. 3 high, a technically supportive indicator.

* Prices were lifted by weakness in the British pound, dealers said. Sterling hovered close to the two-week low it had set on Tuesday as Brexit concerns persisted.

* Follow-through buying on Tuesday helped lift prices above technical resistance levels. Prices on Tuesday settled above their 14-day moving average for the first time since mid-January.

* “In the near term, we anticipate higher prices after yesterday’s strong session and close above trend resistance,” Sucden Financial technical analyst Geordie Wilkes said.

* May New York cocoa settled up $30, or 1.3 percent, at $2,280 per tonne.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar settled up 0.08 cent, or 0.6 percent, at 12.90 cents per lb and prices remained squarely within the recent trading range.

* Prices have been unable so far to break out of their tight 12.50/13 cent range, Nick Penney, senior trader at Sucden Financial said in a market note. “Producer selling is still present on rallies beyond 12.90 and is expected to get heavier through the chart double top at 13.08.”

* “The market remains trapped by the ethanol parity,” broker Marex Spectron said, referring to the price at which sugar is on par with ethanol in Brazil, the top producer of the sweetener.

* Hydrous ethanol consumption in Brazil reached a record high in 2018, an industry group said on Tuesday.

* March white sugar settled down 50 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $341.40 a tonne.

* Ample supplies from India were also in focus, as more favorable weather conditions have recently reinforced expectations for a large crop, dealers said.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee settled up 0.65 cent, or 0.6 percent, at $1.055 per lb.

* Coffee consumption in Brazil rose 4.8 percent from a revised 2017 estimate, to the equivalent of 21 million 60-kg bags of green coffee, industry group Abic said.

* March robusta coffee settled up $21, or 1.4 percent, at $1,556 per tonne. (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie in New York and Ana Ionova in London; editing by David Evans and Jan Harvey)

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