Cotton for May delivery popped 3.5% to $2.09 a pound.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cotton for May delivery spiked after the release of official U.S. export sales numbers.
Raw sugar prices rebounded as traders covered their short positions. Sugar for May delivery rose 3.3% to $27.45 cents a pound. "It fell down from 30, so it deserves a little bouncing," PFGBEST Research analyst Robin Rosenberg told TheStreet. The commodity was down 2.1% the day before as India approved the export of 500,000 tons of sugar, easing supply concerns.
Rough rice futures were rising on ongoing expectations of stronger demand from Asia following the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Rough rice for May delivery rose 0.9% to $14.18 per 100 pounds. "When the tsunami hit Japan and other Asian grain producing countries it brought a lot of saltwater inland. When this water recedes or evaporates, it will likely leave salt deposits, making the land unusable for farming," MaxYield Cooperative Grain Solutions Team Leader Karl Setzer, CTA explained.
The euro was gaining against the greenback even after Portugal's minority government collapsed after a key austerity package to curb the country's mounting debt was rejected by the opposition. The euro was up 0.6% at $1.4179. "The resilience of the euro in the face of seemingly incontrovertible evidence that Portugal will need to get assistance and that very same program and approach has not been enough to stabilize the Greek and Irish situation is amazing," said Marc Chandler, Brown Brothers Harriman Global Head of Currency Strategy, in a report. Chandler believes the euro was stronger despite headwinds because the European Central Bank has strongly indicated that it will hike interest rates at its April 7 meeting. Furthermore, European loan facilities and liquidity remains adequate, unless, of course, Spain comes "under attack."
Thirty Spanish banks were downgraded by Moody's Thursday, but the largest banks -- Banco Santander ( STD), Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria ( BBVA) and Caixa -- maintained their credit ratings. Treasury bonds were falling as the government announced the auction of $99 billion of notes and equities advanced. The CRT trading desk said the U.S. treasury was auctioning $35 billion in two-year notes, $35 billion in five-year notes and $29 billion in seven-year notes. The 2-year note fell 2/32, lifting the yield to 0.678%, while the 10-year note was falling 14/32, raising the yield to 3.394%. The 30-year bond fell 20/32, pushing the yield up to 4.48%. Fitch on Thursday cut Portugal's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings to A- from A+ and placed it on a watch negative list on the possibility of further cuts. >>Search for Highest Dividends by Rate or Yield
|More on Earnings Today's Top Earnings|