July 6 (Reuters) - ICE cotton futures climbed 3 percent on Friday, helped by concerns that dry weather in major producing region Texas could hurt output, as the natural fiber marked its first weekly gain in four weeks.
* The most active cotton contract on ICE Futures U.S., the
third-month December contract , settled up 2.49
cents, or 3.04 percent, at 84.45 cents per lb. It traded within a range of 81.75 and 84.73 cents a lb.
* "In the drought-stricken areas of Texas, expectation is that there will be little rain in July. Dry conditions will persist, potentially causing more damage than predicted in the latest USDA report," Gabriel Crivorot, an analyst at Societe Generale in New York, said referring to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
* The December contract saw its biggest one-day percentage gain since May 29. It ended the week up 0.6 percent after declining for three weeks in a row.
* "This is the Friday before USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report next week so a lot of people want to even their positions," said Louis Rose, director of research and analytics at Tennessee-based Rose Commodity Group. "We still have this drought in West Texas and we continue to hear that abandonments have been increasing quite rapidly."
* Meanwhile, U.S. and China slapped tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion worth of each other's imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the "largest-scale trade war" as the dispute between the world's two largest economies escalated sharply.
* Washington imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports on Friday and Beijing has said it will retaliate with punitive measures on U.S. products - including soybeans, pork and cotton - worth a similar amount.
* "Basically, the (cotton) market was too bearish (on concerns) a war was about to break out on the trade front ... It seems the market has discounted it for now," said Sid Love, commodity trading advisor at Kansas-based Sid Love Consulting.
* The USDA on Friday reported net upland sales of 18,000 running bales (RB) for 2017-18. For 2018-19, net sales reductions of 33,400 RB were reported. Exports of 411,600 RB were up 12 percent from the previous week, but down 4 percent from the prior four-week average.
* Total futures market volume rose by 1,897 to 21,919 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 836 to 253,783 contracts in the previous session.
* Certificated cotton stocks <CERT-COT-STX> deliverable as of July 5 totaled 31,351 480-lb bales, down from 92,135 in the previous session.
(Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru, editing by G Crosse)