* U.S. cotton condition slips, smaller amount rated “good”
* Fiber supported by rising financial markets
* Falling grains markets pressure fiber prices
NEW YORK, Sept 4 (Reuters) – ICE cotton futures finished little changed on Wednesday after trading mixed in light volumes, with support from climbing global equities countered by pressure from lower grain markets.
The most-active December cotton contract on ICE Futures U.S. closed up 0.04 cent, or 0.05 percent, at 82.75 cents a lb.
Global equities rose, led by gains on Wall Street, on strong automotive sales and expectations that military action in Syria would be limited.
Gains in cotton were restricted by pressure from steep losses in the soybean market, with which cotton competes for acreage.
Limited mill buying helped prices to a slight gain, though activity was limited as the buyers await the ramping up of harvests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, dealers said.
“The market couldn’t decide what to do today. Cotton was up and down, and there was no consistency to its move. Stocks looked better, but commodities in general were pretty lousy,” said Sharon Johnson, a cotton specialist with KCG Futures in Atlanta.
Twelve of the nineteen commodities markets included in the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index fell.
The December contract traded below its 200-day moving average of 83.65 cents throughout the session.
Prices were underpinned by a weekly U.S. crop progress report released after Tuesday’s close that showed less of the crop in the world’s top exporter was in good condition last week than the previous week.
The slight gain in the December contract followed a small loss during the previous session as cotton continues to consolidate following market gyrations that left prices down 2 percent last month.
Open interest continued to fall, dropping 2,407 contracts to 173,847 on Tuesday, ICE data showed.
Dealers are awaiting a monthly U.S. government supply and demand report due next week. Last month’s forecast for lower U.S. and global output surprised the market and helped fuel a speculator-driven rally. (Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)