(Rewrites throughout, updates prices, adds comment, adds NEW YORK to dateline, previous LONDON)
NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE rose to a 3-1/2 month high on Wednesday, resuming their rally to breach a key technical level, while cocoa also made gains on the coattails of larger commodity markets.
Sugar closed moderately lower after trading both sides of the session.
* September arabica coffee settled up 2.5 cent, or 1.8 percent, at $1.4035 per lb, after jumping to $1.412, the highest for the spot contract since April 19.
* Total arabica futures open interest fell for five straight sessions, while prices rallied 5.6 percent, to 213,961 contracts on Tuesday, the lowest since May 23, ICE data showed.
* The spot contract resumed its rally to reach its 200-day moving average at $1.4057, but it ran out of steam just above this level.
* September robusta coffee settled up $35, or 1.7 percent, at $2,145 per tonne.
* The rise came after buy stops were triggered in robusta, said Boyd Cruel, commodity broker at High Ridge Futures in Gilbert, Arizona.
* September New York cocoa settled up $32, or 1.6 percent, at $2,055 per tonne.
* Total open interest fell for the third straight session, reaching 762,626 lots on Tuesday, when the spot contract rose to a four-month-high at $2,090,ICE data showed.
* September London cocoa settled up 19 pounds, or 1.2 percent, at 1,580 pounds per tonne.
* A rally in larger commodity markets, led by gains in energy markets, provided spillover support.
* Worries that the cocoa crop may be damaged by rain sent prices rallying, said Peter Mooses, senior market strategist of RJO Futures in Chicago.
* “But we’re still not seeing carryover from companies saying demand is any better,” Mooses said, referring to Nestle reporting slower sales growth.
* Market participants holding short positions exited their positions, boosting prices higher, he added.
* Ivory Coast’s prime minister fired the head of the Coffee and Cocoa Council owing to a crisis over cocoa contract defaults and other management issues, sources said on Tuesday.
* October raw sugar settled down 0.09 cent, or 0.6 percent, at 14.79 cents per lb.
* Erratic monsoon rains in India, the world’s second-biggest sugar grower, caused flooding in some areas while others experienced a drought, caused indecisive trading, Mooses said.
* “They’re probably waiting to see if the areas will benefit or get hurt,” he said.
* October white sugar settled down $2.20, or 0.6 percent, at $397.10 per tonne. (Reporting by Renita D. Young in New York, Ana Ionova in London; Editing by David Clarke and Andrew Hay)