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NEW YORK: ICE cotton futures rose 3% on Friday, with mills taking advantage of a steep fall in the previous session to buy back some of the natural fiber as demand prospects remain strong amid steady global economic recovery. Cotton contracts for May rose 2.35 cents, or 3% to 80.79 cents per lb by 10:25 a.m. EDT (1425 GMT). It traded within a range of 77.12 and 80.97 cents a lb.

However, the contract is down 4.7% so far this week, its biggest weekly percentage fall since March 2020.

“Certainly some mills might be buying and off course under 80 cents we may have seen some foreign bushiness done last night. Also, the dollar has gone down a little today,” said Keith Brown, principal at cotton brokers Keith Brown and Co in Georgia

“The fundamentals of cotton are basically intact, the speculators were heavily long and they got liquidated yesterday.”

Cotton prices fell nearly 5% and traded limit down on Thursday, pressured by a weak export sales data and a stronger dollar.

The dollar index eased from a more than four-month high against key rivals, making cotton lees expensive for investors holding other currencies. Meanwhile, the China branch of the cotton trade body Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) said it had not found signs of forced labour related to cotton production in Xinjiang.

Total futures market volume fell by 44,614 to 25,820 lots. Data showed total open interest gained 52 to 232,092 contracts in the previous session.