By admin       2017-12-26

ICE cotton surged 3 percent in its biggest one-day percentage gain in two months on Thursday, buoyed by speculator buying and partly supportive US export sales data as benchmark prices hit a seven-month high. Cotton contracts for March settled up 2.23 cents, or 2.95 percent, at 77.94 cents per lb after touching a peak of 78.07 cents a lb, an all time high for the contract, earlier in the session. This was also the first time in about seven months that benchmark cotton prices crossed the 78 cent level. "The sales (figure) today complemented the bullish buyers that already existed in the market. And we saw additional speculator buying," said Keith Brown, principal at cotton brokers Keith Brown and Co in Moultrie, Georgia. The market is also expecting a further cut in the production estimates for Indian and Pakistani crops, he added. Earlier in the day, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported net upland sales of 326,500 running bales for 2017/2018 for the week ending December 14, which was up 26 percent from the previous week and 21 percent from the prior 4-week average. However, exports of 148,200 running bales were down 11 percent from the previous week and 3 percent from the prior 4-week average. The sales figures in today's USDA report were supportive for March futures, but shipment and cancellation data were not, Rose Commodity Group said in a note. Meanwhile, total futures market volume rose by 18,056 to 38,797 lots. Data showed total open interest gained 2,148 to 267,236 contracts in the previous session. The dollar index which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, was down 0.05 percent. The Thomson Reuters Core Commodity CRB Index, which tracks 19 commodities, was up 0.35 percent.

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