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NY cotton rises slightly in consolidated trade

* December futures find resistance around 100-day moving average

* Cotton market awaits USDA supply/demand report Thursday

* China's harvest forecast to decline 4.2 pct yr/yr

NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Cotton futures settled quietly higher on Tuesday, remaining rangebound with the market consolidating as the fiber awaited new fundamentals after last week's fall to a two-month low.

New York cotton for December delivery

crept up 0.06 cent, or 0.1 percent, to settle at 71.84 cents per lb on ICE Futures U.S.

The benchmark contract traded in a range from 71.41-72.53 cents, finding resistance just above the 100-day moving average at 72.39 cents.

The commodity complex was also firm, with oil rising to a three-week high and leading the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index

, a global benchmark for commodities, higher as tensions escalated in the Middle East.

"I think it will stay rangebound until the supply/demand report," said John Flanagan, an analyst at Flanagan Trading Corp in North Carolina, referring to cotton futures.

"It fell fairly sharply from the 76-77 cent level and came about to the 70-cent level. That's a pretty good move that some traders will take profits on, on their short position."

The cotton market was awaiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) monthly report due on Thursday for any signs of damage to new crops in west Texas, the major U.S. growing region, after recent wet weather.

Rains can damage quality and quantity of crops because most bolls, which are the protective capsule surrounding the fiber, are open this far into the season.

It may be too early, however, for the USDA to adjust its output forecasts, yet any cuts due to wet weather are unlikely to dent the global record inventory of over 76 million bales in the current season to end-July 2013 either.

China, which is the world's biggest producer and consumer of cotton, is expected to harvest 6.9 million tonnes of the fiber this year, a decline of 4.2 percent from a year ago due to a smaller sowing area, an official from the country's top planning agency said in remarks published on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; editing by Carol Bishopric)

((Marcy.Nicholson@thomsonreuters.com, +1 646 223 6043)(Reuters Messaging Marcy.Nicholson.ThomsonReuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS COTTON/