December 31, 2018 / 2:10 AM / 9 months ago

GRAINS-U.S. soy rises to over 1-week high on U.S.-China trade hopes

    KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose
on Monday to trade at their highest in over a week, buoyed by
hints of improved trade relations between Washington and Beijing
that could boost China's soybean purchases.
    Wheat and corn futures both edged up but were trading within
recent ranges.
            
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of
Trade rose 0.5 percent to $9.00-1/4 a bushel by 0148 GMT.
Soybeans are still down 6.5 percent for the year so far.     
    * Corn gained 0.2 percent to $3.76-1/4 a bushel, and
is up 7.1 percent for the year so far.
    * Wheat was up 0.1 percent at $5.12 a bushel, gaining
20 percent so far for the year.
    * Prices on Monday were supported by a telephone call on
trade between China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President
Donald Trump. The world's two biggest economies have already
made plans for face-to-face trade consultations in January in a
bid to resolve a months-long trade war.
    * China has also opened the door to rice imports from the
U.S. for the first time ever in what analysts took to signal a
warming of relations between the two countries. It was not
immediately clear how much rice China might seek to buy from the
U.S.
    * Earlier this month, China made its first major purchases
of U.S. soybeans since Trump and Xi struck a trade war truce,
providing some relief to U.S. farmers who have struggled to find
buyers for their record-large harvest.
    * This was followed by another round of U.S. soybean
purchases, as private exporters sold 1.199 million tonnes of
U.S. soybeans for shipment to China.
    * Traders however are still missing data from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's weekly export sales report. It was
initially scheduled for release on Friday, but has been
postponed indefinitely due to a partial government shutdown.

            
    MARKET NEWS
    * Asian stocks crept higher on Monday as hints of progress
on the Sino-U.S. trade standoff provided a rare glint of
optimism in what has been a disappointing year for equities in
the region.
    * The Japanese yen jumped on Friday as investors sought
protection against volatile stock moves, while the greenback
dipped as stocks ended a dramatic week capped by large price
swings.
    * Oil prices edged higher on the last trading day of the
year on Monday, taking a cue from firmer stock markets, but
remain on track for the first yearly decline in three years amid
concerns of a supply glut.
    * The S&P 500 ended marginally lower in a choppy session on
Friday, but major indexes posted weekly gains for the first time
in December following a wild few days of trading that saw
equities rebound from a prolonged slide.
    
 Grains prices at  0148 GMT
 Contract    Last    Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg  MA 30   RSI
 CBOT wheat  512.00  0.50    +0.10%   +0.29%       517.82  43
 CBOT corn   376.25  0.75    +0.20%   +0.47%       378.19  51
 CBOT soy    900.25  4.75    +0.53%   +2.01%       906.83  48
 CBOT rice   10.41   $0.10   +0.97%   +1.76%       $10.73  15
 WTI crude   45.39   $0.06   +0.13%   +1.75%       $50.24  
 Currencies                                                
 Euro/dlr    $1.144  $0.001  +0.05%   +0.11%               
 USD/AUD     0.7048  0.001   +0.10%   +0.21%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per
 hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
    

 (Reporting by Emily Chow; editing by Richard Pullin)
  
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