July 7, 2020 / 2:08 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybeans firm, USDA crop report caps gains

SYDNEY, July 7 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans edged higher on Tuesday, hovering below a four-month peak hit in the last session on concerns about hot, dry weather, though gains were checked by a widely watched report that showed the crop condition was better than expected.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.2% at $9.08-1/4 a bushel after closing up 1.1% on Monday. Prices hit their highest since March 5 at $9.12-1/2 a bushel in the previous session.

* The most active corn futures were up 0.1% at $3.47 a bushel, having closed up 0.8% in the previous session.

* The most active wheat futures were down 0.2% at $4.92-1/4 a bushel, having closed up 0.2% in the previous session.

* Hot, dry weather across the U.S. Midwest threatens the soybean and corn crops.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said 71% of the country’s corn crop was in good-to-excellent condition, down 2 percentage points from a week earlier.

* Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected a decline of 1 percentage point.

* The agency rated 71% of the U.S. soybean crop in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week. Analysts on average had expected a 1 point decline.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar slipped and riskier currencies added to galloping gains, after better-than-expected U.S. services data provided the latest boost to confidence in a worldwide economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Oil prices cautiously rose in early trade with major producers sticking to supply cuts, but gains were capped as U.S. coronavirus cases surged, potentially hampering a recovery in fuel demand.

* U.S. stocks rose sharply on Monday as a rebound in U.S. services industry activity in June and expectations of a revival in China’s economy boosted optimism, helping investors look past a surge in new coronavirus cases in the United States. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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