February 28, 2018 / 1:53 AM / a year ago

GRAINS-Wheat firms, holds near 7-mth top on U.S. dry weather woes

    SYDNEY, Feb 28 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat edged higher on
Wednesday to linger near a seven-month high as dry weather
across a key U.S. producing region threatens curb crops, already
damaged by recent adverse weather.
    * The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of
Trade were up 0.2 percent to $4.78 a bushel by 0120 GMT,
having closed up 0.9 percent on Tuesday when prices hit a high
of $4.79 a bushel - the highest since July 31, 2017.
    * The most active soybean futures were up 0.3 percent
to $10.52-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 0.3 percent on Tuesday.
    * The most active corn futures were unchanged at
$3.70-1/2 a bushel, having gained 0.5 percent in the previous
    * U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday rated the wheat
crop in top growing state Kansas at only 12 percent in good to
excellent condition, down 2 points from a month ago.

    * Wheat ratings also declined in Oklahoma, Montana, the
Dakotas, Nebraska and Colorado.
    * Severe cold in Europe this week was also keeping attention
on weather risks, although snow cover was expected to limit the
impact of deep frosts in top wheat exporter Russia.
    * Soybeans draw support from scant rainfall in Argentina
that continued to threaten harvest prospects in the No. 3 global
producer after Brazil and the United States.
    * However, the impact on global supply could be curbed by
Brazil's harvest which some forecasters expect to set a record
    * The dollar stood near a three-week high against a basket
of currencies on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chairman
Jerome Powell's upbeat views on the economy bolstered bets on
further Fed interest rate hikes this year.  
    * U.S. oil prices extended declines into a second day after
industry data showed an increase in U.S. crude and gasoline
stockpiles, with surging production in the country hampering
OPEC attempts to end a global glut.
    * U.S. stocks suffered on Tuesday their biggest daily drops
since the selloff three weeks ago, after the Fed chairman's
0100  China          Official manufacturing PMI              Feb
0100  China          Official non-manufacturing PMI          Feb
0700  Germany        GfK consumer sentiment                  Mar
0745  France         Consumer spending                       Jan
0745  France         Detailed GDP                            Q4
 Grains prices at  0120 GMT
 Contract       Last  Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg    MA 30   RSI 
 CBOT wheat   478.00    1.00   +0.21%       +1.11%   460.63     65
 CBOT corn    370.50    0.00   +0.00%       +0.54%   361.96     70
 CBOT soy    1052.50    3.00   +0.29%       +0.62%  1012.59     80
 CBOT rice     12.18   $0.02   +0.16%       +0.70%   $12.42     39
 WTI crude     62.60  -$0.41   -0.65%       -2.05%   $63.13     53
 Euro/dlr     $1.223  $0.000   -0.02%       -0.71%                
 USD/AUD      0.7787   0.000   -0.03%       -0.85%                
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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