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GRAINS-Soybeans hit 5-week high, corn rises as markets rebound

* Bargain buying supports corn, soybean futures

* Wheat trades near three-month low set on Friday

* Gains curbed by coronavirus fears (Recasts to reflect start of U.S. trading, changes dateline, pvs PARIS/SINGAPORE)

CHICAGO, March 2 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures set a five-week high and corn futures rose on Monday as markets rebounded from selling last week that was fueled by concerns over the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak.

U.S. stock indexes also strengthened, after Wall Street on Friday marked its biggest weekly decline since the 2008 financial crisis amid fears of a recession resulting from the epidemic. Weakness in the U.S. dollar helped underpin gains in commodities, traders said.

“The snapback in the Dow today is supporting everything,” said Jim Gerlach, president of agricultural broker A/C Trading in Indiana.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 1% to $9.01-3/4 a bushel by 11:40 a.m CST (1740 GMT), after earlier reaching $9.04-1/2, its highest level since Jan. 24.

CBOT corn was up 1.5% at $3.73-3/4 a bushel. Wheat was down 1.4% at $5.17-1/2 a bushel, after setting a three-month low on Friday.

“Corn and soy appear to have run out of selling while wheat leaks lower,” Rich Feltes, head of market insights for broker RJ O’Brien, said in a note.

China, the world’s biggest soybean importer, will need to buy U.S. soybeans to sustain a rally in the soy market, Feltes said. Traders are waiting for a big increase in Chinese purchases after Beijing agreed to buy more U.S. farm products as part of an initial trade deal signed in January. So far, the purchases have not materialized.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 670,608 tonnes of U.S. soybeans were inspected for export in the week ended Feb. 27, within analysts’ estimates. U.S. wheat export inspections of 654,097 tonnes topped expectations, while corn inspections of 896,221 tonnes were within expectations.

In rival soybean supplier Argentina, the ministry of agriculture said last week it was suspending the registration of agricultural exports until further notice. Traders said the move likely foreshadowed a steep increase in grains export tariffs.

However, the United States is still expected to face stiff competition from Brazil for sales on the global soy market.

Also hanging over the grain markets were persistent fears over the rising number of coronavirus cases.

“Grain markets moved slightly higher as any hope of market support was capped by remaining fears of the spread of coronavirus,” brokerage Allendale said in a note. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago, Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore Editing by David Evans and Matthew Lewis)

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