ICE cotton futures jumped 2% in the last week of December 2017, boosted by short-covering as the March contract touched an all-time high. Cotton contracts for March expiry settled up 1.52 cents, or 1.9%, at 78.95 cents per lb. They traded within a range of 77.25 and 78.99 cents a lb, a peak for the contract.
Meanwhile, benchmark front-month prices hovered at seven-month highs. “We saw the specs put out some outright shorts .The shorts probably had some pretty close stops somewhere around 78.35-78.40 (cents) where we saw the market jump,” said Louis Rose, director of research and analytics at Tennessee-based Rose Commodity.
Speculators hiked a bullish stance in cotton by 9,436 lots, to 92,038 lots, in the week to December 19, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on the December 29 of last year. That was the biggest bullish stance in the fibre since May. Total futures market volume rose by 14,174 to 26,127 lots. Data showed total open interest gained 717 to 274,603 contracts in the previous session.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.2%. The Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity CRB Index, which tracks 19 commodities, was up 0.52%.