January 4, 2019 / 7:05 PM / 5 months ago

SOFTS-Cocoa slumps more than 3 pct on technical selling, raw sugar rebounds

(Recasts; updates title and throughout; adds comment adds CHICAGO to dateline)

CHICAGO/LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Cocoa prices dropped more than 3 percent on Friday on technical selling, while raw sugar futures were boosted by a rebound in global equity and energy markets.

COCOA

* March New York cocoa settled down $39, or 1.6 percent, at $2,361 per tonne, down 2 percent for the week. It earlier dropped 3.4 percent to a session low of $2,314 per tonne, its lowest since Dec. 26.

* Friday’s price move was primarily technical selling, said Judy Ganes, president of J. Ganes Consulting. “It was a retracement from that (December) rally,” she said. The contract hit its highest since July on Dec. 31, $2,439 a tonne.

* March London cocoa settled down 36 pounds, or 2.1 percent, at 1,724 pounds per tonne, earlier plunging 3.1 percent to 1,705 pounds. It retreated from the previous session’s 5-1/2-month high of 1,773 pounds to end the week down 2.3 percent.

* Dealers said buying appetite had waned as prices approached 1,800 pounds and the market could be set for a further fall, near-term.

* They noted most recent buying was technically driven and the pace of arrivals in top-grower Ivory Coast remained well above last season.

SUGAR

* March raw sugar settled up 0.24 cent, or 2.1 percent, at 11.93 cents per lb, rebounding from the previous session’s three-month low of 11.69 cents. It ends the week down 3.7 percent.

* Dealers said prices were boosted by short-covering, in a technically oversold market after the recent decline, while a recovery in global equities also lent support.

* World stock markets rallied after China’s central bank moved to support the country’s slowing economy, Chinese services data pointed to positive growth, and Beijing announced a new round of trade talks with Washington.

* March white sugar settled up $6.80, or 2.1 percent, at $331 per tonne, yet down 2.4 percent from the week prior.

COFFEE

* March arabica coffee settled down 0.55 cent, or 0.5 percent, at $1.016 per lb ending the week up 0.5 percent.

* When Brazil’s currency backed off its highs, it helped weaken arabica prices, dealers said, encouraging producer selling by increasing local returns on dollar-traded commodities such as coffee.

* March robusta coffee settled down $11, or 0.7 percent, at $1,545 per tonne, earlier hitting a near one-month high of $1,559.

* “Exports are still strong out of Brazil,” said Ganes. “It’s just a quiet market. There isn’t anything to drive it at this second.”

* The contract ends the week up 1.1 percent. (Reporting by Renita D. Young in Chicago and Nigel Hunt in London; Editing by Dale Hudson and Chizu Nomiyama)

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