Sugar Futures Continue Slide as Dollar Rises

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Sugar futures extended losses for a fourth-consecutive day as a higher dollar pressured commodities.

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The U.S. dollar rose after government data showed strong hiring in July. The WSJ dollar index rose 0.5%, to 86.33, after Friday morning's Labor Department data.

That pressured commodities like cocoa and sugar, which fell after the report. A weaker dollar in recent months had given some support to an otherwise sluggish sector, analysts said.

"We've kind of fizzled out here," said Mike Seery, president of brokerage Seery Futures in Plainfield, Ill. "You're seeing a lot of commodities lower across the board."

Raw sugar contracts for October delivery closed down 1.2%, at 14.14 cents a pound, on the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange on Friday, a 10-day low. September cocoa fell 3.3%, to $1,994 a ton, dropping through technical support indicators.

Sugar prices in particular have fallen since hitting a two-month high on Monday. Futures rose around 20% from late June, rebounding after a large global supply outlook weighed down the market for much of this year.

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A sharp drop in prices on Thursday "seemed evidence of a lack of confidence in the recent overall move higher," said Sucden Financial Research in a note.

Dryness concerns in parts of Brazil, where sugar is being harvest, are not enough to dent plentiful global stocks of sweetener, analysts say.

In other markets, September arabica coffee was largely unchanged, at $1.4015 a pound; September frozen concentrated orange juice rose 1.5%, to $1.353 a pound; and December cotton climbed 0.7%, to 70.62 cents a pound.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 04, 2017 15:14 ET (19:14 GMT)