May 1, 2020 / 2:17 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Soybeans set for biggest weekly gain in 5 on strong China demand

SYDNEY, May 1 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures edged lower on Friday after touching a one-week peak in the previous session, although the oilseed was poised for its biggest weekly gain in five on signs of strong demand from China.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade have gained 1.5% so far this week, on course for the biggest weekly gain since late March.

* On Friday, soybeans were down 0.6% at $8.50-1/2 a bushel by 0155 GMT, having closed up 2.1% in the previous session when prices hit the April 23 high of $8.56 a bushel.

* The most active corn futures were down 1.5% for the week, after closing little changed in the previous week.

* The most active wheat futures have lost nearly 2% so far this week, set for the third straight weekly loss.

* Chinese state-owned importers bought at least five bulk cargoes of U.S. soybeans on Thursday, or at least 300,000 tonnes, for shipment mostly from the U.S. Gulf Coast, two traders with knowledge of the deals said.

* Weekly U.S. export sales of corn and wheat both topped expectations.

* The International Grains Council (IGC) trimmed its forecast for global wheat production in the 2020/21 season, driven partly by downward revisions for Russia, Ukraine and the European Union.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar fell against the euro and jumped against the Japanese yen on Thursday as investors focused on month-end rebalancing of their portfolios.

* Oil prices jumped on Friday, extending the previous session’s gains, buoyed by a lower-than-expected gain in U.S. crude inventories and the start of output cuts in a bid to offset a slump in fuel demand triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

* U.S. stocks lost ground on Thursday as grim economic data and mixed earnings prompted investors to take profits at the close of the S&P 500’s best month in 33 years, a remarkable run driven by expectations the economy will soon start recovering from crushing restrictions enacted to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Aditya Soni

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