May 7, 2020 / 2:17 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybeans edge higher on Chinese cargo purchases

SYDNEY, May 7 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures edged higher on Thursday as Chinese cargo purchases supported prices, although fears over the poor state of U.S.-China relations provided a ceiling to the gains.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.3% at $8.34-3/4 a bushel, as of 0147 GMT, having closed down 0.8% on Wednesday.

* The most active corn futures were up 0.2% at $3.14-3/4, having ended 0.9% weaker in the previous session.

* The most active wheat futures were up 0.3% at $5.19 a bushel, having closed down 0.6% on Wednesday.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Chinese buyers had booked deals for 378,000 tonnes of soybeans from the United States.

* China said on Wednesday tariffs should not be used as retaliation after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened the country over its handling of the novel coronavirus.

* U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an increase in ethanol production for the first time since March 4, while ethanol stocks trimmed 725,000 BBLS.

MARKET NEWS

* The safe-haven yen flirted with a seven-week high against the dollar on Thursday as investors limited their exposure to riskier assets amid dire global economic data, rising trade tensions and concerns over the euro zone.

* Oil prices rose on Thursday after U.S. inventories swelled less than expected, but market watchers predicted further gains could be capped by the ongoing glut in crude supplies as the coronavirus pandemic crushes fuel demand.

* The S&P 500 and the Dow fell on Wednesday as declines in financials and defensive groups countered gains in tech shares and as data showed U.S. private employers laid off 20 million workers in April, underscoring the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

Reporting by Colin Packham, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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