January 4, 2018 / 3:18 AM / a year ago

GRAINS-Wheat falls but losses checked as adverse U.S. weather threatens crops

    SYDNEY, Jan 4 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures edged lower on
Thursday, retreating from a one-month high touched earlier in
the week, though losses were checked by concerns that adverse
weather across a key U.S. producing region will curtail
    * The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of
Trade were down 0.5 percent to $4.34 a bushel by 0247 GMT
after closing up 0.6 percent in the previous session.
    * The most active soybeans futures fell 0.1 percent to
$9.68 a bushel, having firmed 0.4 percent on Wednesday.
    * The most active corn futures were unchanged at $3.53
a bushel, having closed down 0.1 percent in the previous
    * Wheat draws support amid sub-zero temperatures across the
U.S. Plains and as forecasts for continued dryness raised the
prospect of a reduced harvest.
    * The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday afternoon
that winter wheat in Kansas, the state that is the biggest
producer of the grain, was rated 37 percent good to excellent,
down from 51 percent at the end of November. 
    * A year ago, the state's winter wheat crop was rated 44
percent good to excellent.
    * Argentina's breadbasket province of Buenos Aires will
remain mostly dry in the days ahead, meteorologists said on
Tuesday, after reporting scant rain over the weekend.

    * The dollar extended gains on Thursday after upbeat U.S.
data and supportive minutes from the Federal's Reserve's latest
policy meeting helped it shake off recent weakness.  
    * Oil prices on Thursday remained near levels last seen in
late 2014/2015, with markets tightening amid tensions in Iran
and due to ongoing OPEC-led production cuts.  
    * The S&P 500 index rose above 2,700 for the first time on
Wednesday and other major indexes hit record closing highs as
technology stocks climbed after signs of robust economic growth.
    DATA (GMT)
0145  China      Service sector PMI         Dec
0850  France     Final composite PMI        Dec
0850  France     Final service sector PMI   Dec
0855  Germany    Final composite PMI        Dec
0855  Germany    Final service sector PMI   Dec
0900  Euro Zone  Final Service sector PMI   Dec
0900  Euro Zone  Final composite PMI        Dec
0930  U.K.       Mortgage approvals         Nov 
0930  U.K.       Service sector PMI         Dec 
1230  U.S.       Companies' planned layoffs Dec 
1315  U.S.       ADP employment report      Dec
1445  U.S.       Final service sector PMI   Dec 
1445  U.S.       Final manufacturing PMI    Dec
 Grains prices at  0247 GMT
 Contract      Last   Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg   MA 30   RSI 
 CBOT wheat  434.00    -2.00   -0.46%       +0.12%  427.30     69
 CBOT corn   353.00     0.00   +0.00%       -0.07%  352.22     66
 CBOT soy    968.00    -0.75   -0.08%       +0.34%  986.98     47
 CBOT rice    11.61   -$0.04   -0.30%       -1.40%  $12.24     23
 WTI crude    61.86    $0.23   +0.37%       +2.47%  $58.25     84
 Euro/dlr    $1.202   $0.000   +0.04%       -0.33%               
 USD/AUD     0.7830    0.000   -0.06%       +0.01%               
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential

 (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)
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