LONDON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures on ICE rose on Thursday as speculative buying helped lift prices, while London cocoa regained some ground as a weaker British pound lent support.
* October raw sugar was up 0.14 cents, or 1 percent, at 14.05 cents per lb by 1145 GMT.
* The climb marked a recovery after prices tumbled sharply from three-week highs this week on the back of technical selling.
* Friendly chart signals lent support on Thursday, after prices climbed over 14 cents and spurred light short-covering.
* Speculators have also been rolling forward their short positions out of the October contract and into the March one, dealers said.
* Upward momentum was limited by sales by Brazilian mills, who have been seeking to hedge their sugar.
* “When the funds do cover, they run into the Brazilians pricing so the market can’t really rally,” said one dealer. “We’re capped on that side.”
* October white sugar fell $0.40, or 0.1 percent, to $379.20 a tonne.
* Egypt’s strategic stocks of sugar stand at over 1 million tonnes, the supply ministry said in a statement on Thursday, enough to cover the country’s needs through January, when local sugar cane production begins.
* December London cocoa was up 10 pounds, or 0.7 percent, at 1,527 pounds a tonne, after hitting a session high of 1,535 pounds as the British pound weakened.
* The market was also technically supported, after gaining a foothold above the short-term moving average.
* “Futures have been well bid below the 10 (day moving average) in recent weeks, suggesting demand for prices at this level,” said Sucden Financial technical analyst Geordie Wilkes.
* December New York cocoa rose $3, or 0.2 percent, to $1,927 a tonne.
* Both markets slumped in the previous session, pressured by a wave of selling by funds.
* November robusta coffee rose $2, or 0.1 percent, to $2,077 a tonne.
* Traders in Vietnam said the upcoming coffee crop looked healthy as sufficient rainfall supported tree growth, with one trader expecting output to rise 15 percent compared to this season.
* December arabica coffee fell 0.20 cents, or 0.16 percent, to $1.28 per lb. (Reporting by Ana Ionova; Editing by Edmund Blair)