ICE cotton hit a more-than two week high on Monday as investors exited short positions after the strongest weekly gain in more than four months, triggering technical buying above a key support level. The most-active March cotton contract on ICE Futures US gained 0.53 cent, or 0.9 percent, to settle at 59.89 cents a lb after rising as high as 60.08 cents, its highest level since January 15.
Fiber rose 3.6 percent last week, its largest weekly gain since the week ended September 12. That prompted investors who focus more on day-end and week-end levels than intraday moves to cover their bearish cotton bets on Monday, said Ron Lawson, a partner at commodity investment firm Logic Advisors in Sonoma, California.
“The specs enter into the market in dribs and drabs, here and there. They exit in concert,” Lawson said. Speculators increased their net short position in cotton futures and options to a four-month high of 22,925 contracts in the week ended January 27, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed Friday after market close. The March contract received a boost in morning trading after it exceeded its 20-day moving average at 59.34 cents a lb, exaggerating gains.