June 4, 2020 / 1:40 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybeans hold steady at near 3-week high on Chinese demand

SYDNEY, June 4 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans held steady on Thursday, as signs of strong Chinese demand kept prices at a three-week high.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade steady at $8.57-1/4 a bushel by 0123 GMT, after gaining 0.8% on Wednesday when prices hit a May 12 high of $8.58 a bushel.

* The most active corn futures were up 0.1% at $3.24-1/4 a bushel, after closing down 0.1% in the previous session.

* The most active wheat futures were up 0.2% at $5.12-3/4 a bushel, having closed up 0.8% on Wednesday.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed sales of 186,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations, which analysts said likely meant China.

* A spate of U.S. soy sales this week eased concerns about export demand after Beijing reportedly told importers to halt purchases following a dispute over a new Chinese security law for Hong Kong.

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration said production of corn-based ethanol increased by 41,000 barrels per day in the latest week, while ethanol stocks fell.

MARKET NEWS

* The euro held near multi-month highs against rival majors on Thursday on expectations the European Central Bank will expand its bond buying programme later in the day to shore up the coronavirus-stricken economy.

* Oil ended slightly higher on Wednesday but remained below the session’s early highs above $40 a barrel, the highest since March, retreating as doubts emerged about the timing and scale of a potential extension to the pact between OPEC and its allies to cut crude supplies.

* Wall Street rallied broadly on Wednesday with the Nasdaq approaching record highs as signs of an economic recovery from mandated shutdowns helped investors look beyond U.S. social unrest and pandemic worries.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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