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GRAINS-Soybeans firm, linger near over 4-yr high on strong Chinese demand

SYDNEY, Oct 23 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures edged higher on Friday, as strong demand from China — the world’s largest importer — pushed prices towards a more than four-year high.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade are up nearly 2.5% for the week after closing down 1.5% last week.

* On Friday, soybeans rose 0.1% to $10.75-1/4 a bushel after closing up 0.2% on Thursday when prices hit a high of $10.85-1/4 a bushel - the highest since July 14, 2016.

* Corn futures are up nearly 4% for the week, the fourth straight weekly gain.

* Wheat futures are down 0.1% for the week, the first weekly loss in a month.

* The USDA report showed that weekly soybean export sales totaled 2.226 million tonnes, including 1.222 million tonnes destined for China.

* Weekly export sales of corn totaled 1.832 million tonnes, up from 655,165 tonnes last week. China accounted for 433,500 tonnes of the total.

* Private exporters reported a sale of 152,404 tonnes of soybeans to Mexico and 132,000 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations, the USDA said.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar took stock at the end of a poor week, having shed about a cent against the euro and suffered its largest weekly drop against the yen in a month, as investors began to wager on a Biden presidency and big U.S. stimulus.

* Oil prices were steady, holding onto gains from the previous session, after Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated he would be prepared to extend record supply cuts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Asian stocks were set for cautious gains on Friday after positive U.S. economic data and signs of progress in stimulus talks in Washington lifted Wall Street benchmarks.

Editing by Uttaresh.V

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