SYDNEY, April 4 U.S. wheat futures rose for the third consecutive session on Thursday, after the biggest daily rise in more than six months in the previous session, on concerns over dry weather and expectations for strong U.S. export demand. Gains over three days have topped more than 5 percent, recouping around half of the losses from the previous two sessions when the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast for larger-than-expected stock rattled prices. FUNDAMENTALS * Chicago Board Of Trade May wheat rose 0.79 percent to $7.02 a bushel, having closed up 3.84 percent on Wednesday, the biggest jump for the front-month contract since September 28, 2012. * May soybeans rose 0.11 percent to $13.81-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.99 percent on Wednesday. * May corn rose 0.19 percent to $6.32-3/4 a bushel, having gained 0.16 percent in the previous session. * Corn and wheat rebounded from losses as a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture report last week, which surprised investors with estimates of big U.S. corn and wheat stockpiles. * Wheat supported by concerns over dry conditions across U.S. Plains. Welcome rains are forecast for the region this week but may miss the southwestern portion of the belt. * U.S. wheat demand seen firming. China's state-owned agricultural trading company, COFCO, has complained about the baking performance of some Canadian spring wheat shipments and suggested it may import more U.S. spring wheat instead. * A wave of cold weather across France in the past weeks could hit grain crop yields by 5 to 6 percent if it lasts beyond mid-April, a leading scientist at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) said on Wednesday. * Commodity funds sold an estimated 81,000 corn contracts in the three sessions after the report's release, and open interest in CBOT corn fell by more than 40,000 contracts this week. By Wednesday, fund liquidation appeared to have slowed but continued to hang over the market. * Light pressure stemmed from news that private analytics firm Informa Economics raised its estimates of 2012/13 corn production in Argentina and Brazil and 2013/14 production in China. * Informa estimated Brazil's 2012/13 corn crop, which is currently being harvested, at 71.95 million tonnes, up from 71.6 million previously, and Argentina's corn harvest at 25.3 million tonnes, up from 25.0 million previously. * Soybeans fell on technical selling and concerns about feed demand in China, the world's top soy buyer. * Chinese state media on Wednesday announced two more cases of a new strain of bird flu, including one death, bringing to nine the number of confirmed human infections from the previously unknown flu type. MARKET NEWS * The yen held near one-month highs against the dollar early in Asia on Thursday, with investors adopting a cautious stance as they waited to see just how aggressive the Bank of Japan will be in tackling deflation. * Oil prices fell 3 percent on Wednesday in the steepest daily drop in five months, as U.S. crude inventories rose to their highest since 1990 and as weak economic data weighed on the outlook for demand. * U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 index posting its biggest daily decline in more than a month, after a weaker-than-expected survey of private employers raised concerns about the strength of the economy. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0200 Bank of Japan rate decision 0743 Italy Markit/ADACI Services PMI 0748 France Markit Services PMI 0753 Germany Markit Services PMI 0758 Euro zone Markit Services PMI 0900 Euro zone Producer prices 1145 European Central Bank rate decision 1230 ECB President Mario Draghi holds news conference 1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1430 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks Grains prices at 0006 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 702.00 5.50 +0.79% +4.66% 710.11 47 CBOT corn 642.75 1.25 +0.19% +0.35% 699.57 19 CBOT soy 1381.75 1.50 +0.11% -0.88% 1437.43 28 CBOT rice $15.70 $0.04 +0.29% -0.44% $15.30 73 WTI crude $94.41 -$0.04 -0.04% -2.86% $93.29 44 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.285 $0.000 +0.01% +0.26% USD/AUD 1.045 -0.001 -0.06% +0.08% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Ed Davies)
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