GRAINS-Corn gains, lingers near 7-month high on USDA stockpile estimates

SYDNEY, Oct 1 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures rose for a second consecutive session on Thursday, lingering near a seven-month high, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged stockpiles below market expectations.


* The most-active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.4% at $3.80-1/2 a bushel by 0119 GMT, having gained 3.9% in the previous session when prices hit a March 6 high of $3.82-3/4 a bushel.

* Soybean futures were up 0.8% at $10.31-3/4 a bushel, having firmed 3.1% on Wednesday when prices hit a Sept. 22 high of $10.34-3/4 a bushel.

* Wheat futures were up 0.6% at $5.81-1/4 a bushel, having closed up 5.2% on Wednesday when prices hit a March 27 high of $5.87 a bushel.

* American soybean and corn stockpiles were smaller-than-expected as China stepped up its purchases of U.S. supplies during the summer, the U.S. government said on Wednesday.

* Corn supplies dropped by 3.024 billion bushels and soybean supplies fell by 858 million bushels during the three months ended Sept. 1, the second-biggest summer drawdowns ever for both commodities, according to the agriculture department’s quarterly stocks report.


* The dollar was on the defensive at a one-week low on Thursday, as robust U.S. data and fresh hopes for U.S. fiscal stimulus had investors confident enough about economic recovery prospects to seek out riskier currencies.

* Oil prices were roughly unchanged in early trade after U.S. lawmakers postponed a vote on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package in the hopes of reaching a bipartisan agreement with the White House, as infections continued to rise.

* Asian equities were poised for a bouncy session after U.S. stocks posted a second consecutive quarter of gains and safe-haven assets, including the dollar, were mixed.

Reporting by Colin Packham