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NEW YORK: ICE cotton futures gained 3% on Monday bolstered by hopes for stronger demand as the global economy recovers, while a rebound in wider financial markets added to the upbeat mood. Cotton contracts for May rose 2.72 cents, or 3.1% to 91.55 cents per lb by 12:25 p.m. ET (1725 GMT). It traded within a range of 89.2 and 92.8 cents a lb.

The contract fell 1.8% last week and pulled back from its highest level since June 2018 at 95.60 cents hit on Thursday.

“The bullish outlook continues to be in effect. ... We’re still hearing that demand is good even with these higher prices,” said Bailey Thomen, cotton risk management associate with StoneX Group.

Cotton is not as overbought as it was last week from a technical perspective and the market’s next target will likely be a retest of the 96.50-cent level, Thomen added.

Speculators boosted their already large position in cotton by adding 4,546 contracts in the week to Feb. 23 bringing the total net long contracts to 74,226, data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday. Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of Feb. 25 totaled 100,129 480-lb bales, down from 100,326 in the previous session. Total futures market volume fell by 19,360 to 30,560 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 3,788 to 242,363 contracts in the previous session.

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