NEW YORK: Cotton futures settled lower Wednesday on light investor sales, after renewed worries over the euro zone debt crisis and the market’s inability to race past topside resistance, analysts said.
US stocks were down in choppy trading on Wednesday as expectations that an EU summit could generate a deal to tackle the region’s debt crisis were deflated by a German official discounting such hopes.
Key March cotton futures dropped 1.50 cents or 1.6 percent to finish at 92.31 cents per lb, after trading between 91.75 and 93.80 cents. The range was very close to the Tuesday trading band of 91.51 to 93.63 cents.
Volume traded Wednesday stood at around 8,400 lots, some two-thirds under the 30-day average, according to ICE Futures data.
Sharon Johnson, senior cotton analyst at commodities brokerage Penson Futures, said commodity markets were all pressured by fresh worries over euro zone debt and “reacted accordingly” by losing ground.
“Cotton hit (automatic computer) sell stop (orders) on the way down,” she said.
The market, basis March, failed to surmount the technical target around 94 cents, prompting technical players to sell off the market later in the session.
The market will be turning its attention to the US Agriculture Department’s weekly export sales report on Thursday and then the USDA’s monthly supply/demand report on Friday.
USDA is expected to reduce its estimate of US 2011/12 cotton production and adjust its forecast of US 2011/12 cotton exports.
USDA had forecast US 2011/12 cotton production at 16.3 million (480-lb bales) in its November supply data, from 16.61 million bales in the preceding month. US cotton exports were forecast at 11.3 million bales, from 11.5 million bales.
Open interest in the cotton market, usually taken as an indicator of investor exposure in the market, came to 139,821 lots on Tuesday, from the prior session’s 139,061 lots, exchange data showed.
Volume traded Tuesday reached 12,621 lots, from the prior session’s 10,239 lots, ICE Futures US data reported.