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NEW YORK: ICE cotton climbed by about 1percent on Friday on positive weekly federal export sales data and a slide in the dollar, priming the natural fiber for a second weekly ascent in three weeks.

Cotton contracts for December rose 0.51 cent, or 0.6 percent, to 87.39 cents per lb, at 12:09 pm EDT (1609 GMT), having gained as much as 1.2percent earlier.

The contract is up by about 0.5percent so far this week.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s weekly export sales report showed net sales of 52,100 running bales (RB) for the 2020/2021 marketing year, up 22percent from the previous week but down 38percent from the prior four-week average.

The report also showed exports of 19,200 RB, up 84percent from the previous week and 42percent from the prior four-week average.

“With trading volumes at ‘summer doldrum’ levels, we currently don’t see the force necessary to push the market through support or resistance,” Peter Egli, director of risk management at British merchant Plexus Cotton, said in a note on Thursday.

Total futures market volume fell by 7,931 to 9,669 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 106 to 223,531 contracts in the previous session.

Strong bidding for China’s reserve auction sales suggests that its nearby supplies are tight, “similar to what we are witnessing in most other origins around the globe, which puts a lot of emphasis on the coming crops,” the note added.

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