NEW YORK: Cotton futures ended lower Thursday on technical selling by investors for the third straight session, but dealings stayed in a range and the market could drift into the weekend, analysts said.
Benchmark March cotton on ICE Futures US fell 1.33 cents, almost 1.4 percent, to end at 95.59 cents per lb, moving from 95.29 to 97.41 cents. It was an inside day as the range held within Wednesday’s 94.59 to 98.05 band.
Volume Thursday amounted to about 14,800 lots, almost 7 percent below the 30-day norm, according to preliminary Thomson Reuters data.
Mike Stevens, an independent cotton analyst in Louisiana, said cotton was pressured slightly by some profit-taking.
Another dealer said some discouragement by other market participants came from the fact that no upland cotton sales were reported in the US Agriculture Department’s weekly export sales report.
“Not one bale was sold,” said The Price Group analyst Jack Scoville.
Analysts said the nearby downside targets for the March contract could be found at 94.52 cents, which was the Jan. 13 low, then the Jan. 12 low of 94.13 cents and after that the Jan. 9 low of 93.22 cents.
Fundamentally, the market derived recent strength from buying by China, the world’s leading consumer of cotton, for its textile and apparel industry.
Open interest, an indicator of investor exposure, stood at 166,183 lots as of Jan. 25, up for the 11th session in a row and posting a rise of almost 10 percent this year.
Wednesday’s volume of 25,357 lots bested Tuesday’s tally of 23,626 lots, ICE Futures US data showed.