Cocoa Prices Steady in Trading After Ivory Coast Terror Attacks

Cocoa prices were stable after Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer of the commodity, suffered an attack by al-Qaeda-linked extremists on Sunday.

Contracts for May delivery increased 0.5 percent to 2,237 pounds ($3,215) a metric ton on ICE Futures Europe at 9:47 a.m. in London. Cocoa traded in New York for the same delivery month added 0.1 percent.

Militants said they led the attack at a hotel in the town of Grand Bassam, Mauritanian newspaper al-Akhbar reported, citing a statement by al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and al-Mourabitoune. At least 14 civilians and two soldiers were killed, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said in comments on state television. Six militants died, he said.

The West African nation has been on high alert since a November attack on a Radisson hotel in Mali where about 20 people died. The al-Qaeda linked group pledged at the time to strike the allies of France and led a similar assault that left about 30 dead in Burkina Faso in February. It’s the first onslaught by Islamist militants in Ivory Coast, a former French colony with a population almost evenly split between Muslims and Christians.

Grand Bassam is about 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Abidjan, the country’s commercial capital. The town, which was the capital during French colonial rule, is popular with residents of Abidjan as a weekend getaway. The beach has more than a dozen restaurants and hotels frequented by both Ivorians and foreigners.

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