July 26, 2018 / 11:58 AM / 4 months ago

SOFTS-Cocoa climbs off lows as chart signals improve, sugar slips

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - Cocoa futures on ICE rose on Thursday, as more upbeat technical signals and waning speculative selling helped lift prices off the prior day’s lows, while raw sugar eased and coffee edged up.

COCOA

* September New York cocoa was up $32, or 1.4 percent, at $2,277 a tonne by 1135 GMT.

* September London cocoa rose 16 pounds, or 1 percent, to 1,662 pounds a tonne.

* Both markets fell to their lowest in more than 4-1/2 months in the prior session amid producer hedging and long liquidation by speculators, dealers said.

* However, prices found their footing on Thursday amid renewed buying spurred by more upbeat technical signals.

* “The market is a little bit oversold,” said one European dealer, noting focus remained on the 200-day moving average. “It just needed a bounce. We just have to see if it’s a lasting one or not.”

* Dealers said long liquidation by speculators had waned for now, although prices remained vulnerable to producer hedging from the Ivory Coast.

* Fundamentally, focus remained on weather in West Africa, where crop-friendly rains are expected to boost main crop output.

* “The weather in the Ivory Coast is defying what’s going on in most of the world,” the dealer said. “And it’s projected that the rains are going to carry on.”

* Hershey Co topped estimates for quarterly sales and profit on Thursday, driven by demand for its chocolates and revenue from a recently acquired snacks maker.

SUGAR

* October raw sugar was down 0.02 cent, or 0.2 percent, at 11.17 cents per lb.

* Prices remained range-bound and dealers said there was firm support around the 11 cent mark.

* Downside was also limited by persistent concerns about dry weather in top grower Brazil and parts of the European Union, dealers said.

* Dealers added that this could spook speculators and spur some fresh short-covering.

* October white sugar fell $1.00, or 0.3 percent, to $326.40 a tonne.

COFFEE

* September arabica coffee rose 0.55 cent, or 0.5 percent, to $1.1155 per lb.

* September robusta coffee climbed $8, or 0.5 percent, to $1,688 a tonne.

* Vietnam’s coffee output in the 2018-19 crop year is forecast to rise from the previous crop year due to supportive weather, with traders in the country forecasting output of 30.8 million 60-kg bags. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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