November 2, 2018 / 6:13 PM / 6 months ago

SOFTS-Raw sugar, arabica coffee close higher on fund buying

 (Recasts throughout; adds comment, details, NEW YORK to
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Raw sugar and arabica
coffee futures on ICE settled higher on Friday as a more upbeat
mood in commodity markets inspired fresh fund buying, and a
weaker dollar supported for much of the session. New York cocoa
prices gained.
    * March raw sugar        settled up 0.25 cent, or 1.9
percent, at 13.44 cents per lb., yet nearly 3 percent lower for
the week.
    * Prices increased on broader strength in commodities,
dealers said. 
    * This inspired renewed speculative buying, dealers said,
with funds testing technical resistance levels.
    * Analysts were split on whether unfavorable weather and low
prices could curb production in the European Union, India and
top grower Brazil in 2018-19.
    * "I don’t think the expected el Nino is likely to develop
to such a degree that will have a strong influence. We’ll just
have to see what the funds are doing," said McKeany-Flavell's
Daniel Aviles.
    * December white sugar         settled up $5.80, or 1.6
percent, at $357.70 a tonne, more than 3.5 percent lower on the
    * December arabica coffee        settled up 2.25 cents, or
1.9 percent, at $1.2005 per lb., also supported by the weaker
dollar and little changed from the week prior.
    * Dealers also pointed to follow-through buying after the
previous day's dramatic rally, which was driven by speculative
short-covering on the back of gains in the Brazilian real. 
    * "From being overbought, we basically corrected the
overbought situation and now the funds are covering shorts
again," a U.S. trader said.
    * January robusta coffee         settled up $17, or 1
percent, at $1,729 per tonne, also barely changed from the week
    * December New York cocoa        settled up $3, or 0.13
percent, to $2,267 a tonne, closing the week up 0.7 percent.
    * Prices were negative for much of the session, then "more
speculative buying entered near the close," said Jack Scoville,
president of Price Futures Group.
    * Focus remained on a strong start to the main crop in Ivory
Coast, which has boosted expectations for ample supplies. 
    * Ivory Coast banks are refusing to finance cocoa bean
purchases by some local exporters until they are guaranteed
repayment of 160 billion CFA francs ($279 million) of debt from
failed export giant SAF-Cacao, sources said.             
    * December London cocoa         settled down 1 pound, or
0.06 percent, to 1,675 pounds a tonne and ending the week 1.7
percent lower.

 (Reporting by Renita D. Young in New York and Ana Ionova in
London; editing by Jan Harvey)
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