NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cotton futures tumbled Monday morning as analysts predicted a decline in prices by the end of the year.

Cotton for May delivery was down 3.3% to $1.98 a pound.

Apparel retailers such as





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American Eagle Outfitters

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, who were expecting take a hit from rising cotton costs, may have been offered some relief.



survey of analysts reveals that cotton prices will fall 51% to $1 a pound by year-end due to record crops and the replenishing of stockpiles for the first time since 2007.

Corn prices and soybean futures were gaining ahead of this Thursday's Department of Agriculture planting intensions report, which could show insufficient acreage numbers.

Corn for May delivery was ticking up 0.1% to $6.90 ¼ and soybeans for May delivery were up 0.6% to $13.66.

"I look for higher prices ahead of the report as the fear is the acreage numbers for corn and beans won't be high enough to ensure we can meet expanding world demand and build safer ending stocks numbers should we have a dry growing season," said PFG Best analyst Tim Hannagan, in a report.

Private forecasters are generally leaning towards 1.5 million to 3 million acres more corn than the year prior and 1 million acres to 3 million acres less soybeans, according to the analyst.

This, as corn and soybean ending stocks approach historic low.

The U.S. dollar has been trading mixed against other currencies, gaining against the British pound, the Japanese yen and the euro, but sinking against the Australian dollar.

The U.S. dollar was rising 0.3% against the euro at EUR 0.71185 and up 0.3% against the pound at GBP 0.62533. It was flat against the Australian dollar at AUD 0.9739 and 0.4% higher against the Japanese currency at 81.669 yen.

The greenback has tumbled to 30-year lows against the Australian dollar and the Australian dollar-greenback pairing has been stronger for the seventh straight day since the yen intervention. The Australian dollar soared to its highest post-float levels Friday. Partly helping the currency was the weakening of the yen following a coordinated selloff of the currency by central banks from the G-7 group of industrialized nations this month to curtail appreciation.

>> Aussie Dollar Enjoys Safe Haven Appeal

The euro was slipping against the dollar after the coalition of German Chancellor Angela Merkel lost a key regional election over the weekend. "The effect should be seen in less freedom for the German government to take unpopular political stands, such as in nuclear power and economic assistance to periphery countries," said Brown Brothers Harriman Global Head of Currency Strategy Marc Chandler, in a morning note. "This does not bode well for the periphery, in light of near term issues with Ireland and Portugal."

The results of stress tests on Ireland's four biggest banks, due on Thursday, will show their need for 20 billion euros more in capital.

The euro was slipping against the dollar amid weak economic data in the U.K. -- dampening expectations of interest rate hikes in the near future -- coupled with greater optimism over U.S. economic growth.

Treasury bonds were retreating ahead of the government's auction of $99 billion two, five and seven-year notes this week and anticipation of higher yields.

The two year note was down 3/32, pushing the yield up to 0.781%, and the 10-year note was falling 10/32, pushing the yield up to 3.476%. The 30-year bond was falling 10/32, with the yield higher at 4.518%.

"Treasury prices continued to correct lower as attention shifted away from all of the geopolitical concerns and back home amid increasingly hawkish comments, a strong equity performance on the week, a heavy supply calendar, and as we head toward the March employment report," said Stifel Nicolaus head government bond trader Marty Mitchell, in a report.

Consumer goods behemoth


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has joined


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in selling "dim sum" bonds in Hong Kong's Chinese renminbi currency market.

Unilever was the first European firm to take advantage of the expanding market and generated 300 million yuan, or $46 million, from the sale -- a small but significant amount.

A growing number of global companies are utilizing the renminbi in international business transactions as China begins opening its currency market to the world. The growing market speaks to long-term confidence in the renminbi and China's economy -- including from corporations with a big share in the world's most populous consumer market.

Earlier, the Royal Bank of Scotland said that yuan-based bond sales in Hong Kong could triple this year.

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-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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