By admin       2018-02-16

ICE cotton futures edged lower to mark the lowest since December on Thursday as investors remained cautious with the first notice day for the March contract due next week. The most active ICE cotton contract for May expiry settled down 0.2 cent, or 0.26 percent, at 76.77 cents per lb. The contract fell for the fourth consecutive day. It traded within a range of 76.44 and 77.65 cents a lb, touching a fresh low since Dec. 21. "Today marked the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year so that caused a slack in volume," said Keith Brown, principal at cotton brokers Keith Brown and Co in Moultrie, Georgia. We have a long weekend coming up and the first notice day for the March contract next week so we want to see how that unfolds, Brown added. The week-long Lunar New Year holiday in China began on Thursday. The March cotton contract settled down 0.19 cent, or 0.25 percent, at 75.41 cents per lb. The first notice day for the contract is Feb. 22. *The contract traded within a range of 75.11 and 76.29 cents a lb, hitting the lowest since Dec. 20. *The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported net sales of 364,800 running bales for 2017-18, which were down 9 percent from the previous week but up 39 percent from the prior four-week average, in its weekly export sales report. Exports of 324,700 running bales were down 25 percent from the previous week but up 3 percent from the prior 4-week average. Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of Feb. 14 totaled 90,149 480-lb bales, up from 88,442 in the previous session. Total futures market volume fell by 12,199 to 36,096 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 4,091 to 262,550 contracts in the previous session. reuters

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