NEW YORK: Cotton futures finished higher Thursday on follow-through investor, commercial and possible fund buying boosting the market and could give fiber contracts a sustained lift in the days ahead, dealers said.
Benchmark March cotton on ICE Futures US increased 0.82 cent to close at 94.21 cents per lb, dealing from 92.69 to 94.88 cents.
Open interest in cotton , an indicator of investor exposure in the market, has risen over 10,000 lots over the past three sessions to 178,051 lots as of Feb. 1, ICE Futures US data showed.
Sharon Johnson, senior cotton analyst for commodities brokerage Penson Futures in Atlanta, said commercial or fund accounts were apparently establishing positions in the market.
Cotton ended up nearly 2 percent January for its second consecutive monthly gain as better sentiment in the commodity complex lifted cotton after a 10 percent drop in November.
Volume traded on Thursday stood at over 23,800 lots, around two-thirds above the 30-day average, according to preliminary Thomson Reuters data.
Market players are now looking forward to next Thursday’s US Department of Agriculture monthly supply and demand report. US industry group National Cotton Council will issue its annual survey of potential US cotton plantings in 2012.
Wednesday’s volume stood at 30,413 lots, from the prior session’s 34,060 lots, exchange data showed.