March 23, 2018 / 2:02 AM / 5 months ago

GRAINS-Wheat firms, set to finish the week down more than 2 pct

    SYDNEY, March 23 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures edged higher
on Friday, though the grain was poised to record its third
consecutive weekly loss as rains across a key producing region
eased fears of widespread crop losses.
         
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board
Of Trade were down more than 2 percent for the week, extending
three-week losses to 8.5 percent.
    * The most active soybean futures was 1.5 percent
lower for the week, after closing up 1 percent the previous
week.
    * The most active corn futures dropped more than 1.5
percent for the week.
    * Wheat has been under sustained pressure this week after
rains fell across the U.S. Plains, aiding crops that have
suffered from sustained dry weather.
    * The International Grains Council (IGC) forecast global
grain stocks will fall in 2018/19, with the bulk of the decline
seen in corn.
    * The IGC said total grain stocks would fall by 46 million
tonnes to 560 million tonnes, including a 42 million-tonne
drawdown in corn to 265 million tonnes. Wheat inventories were
seen declining by 3 million tonnes to 253 million tonnes.

    * Declining Argentina crop estimates lent support to prices.
The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange cut its estimate of the
country's soybean crop to 39.5 million tonnes, from 42 million
previously.
    * Private analytics firm Informa Economics raised its
forecast of U.S. 2018 soybean plantings to 91.5 million acres, a
record high if achieved, and lowered its corn forecast to 88.9
million acres, trade sources said.
    * U.S. farmers planted 90.1 million acres of soybeans and
90.2 million acres of corn in 2017.
         
    MARKET NEWS  
    * The yen hit a 16-month high against the dollar on Friday
as concerns over rising global trade tensions triggered a bout
of investor risk aversion.  
    * Oil prices rose on Friday, pushed up by Saudi statements
that OPEC and Russia-led production curbs that were introduced
in 2017 will need to be extended into 2019 in order to tighten
the market.  
    * S&P 500 e-mini futures EScv1 fell 0.33 percent late on
Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he was
replacing his national security advisor.  
        
 Grains prices at  0132 GMT
 Contract        Last  Change  Pct chg  Two-day chg    MA 30  RSI
 CBOT wheat    457.75    2.00   +0.44%       +0.94%   477.57   35
 CBOT corn     376.75    0.75   +0.20%       +0.47%   380.33   42
 CBOT soy     1033.50    3.75   +0.36%       +0.36%  1042.26   48
 CBOT rice      12.31  -$0.02   -0.16%       -0.08%   $12.34   51
 WTI crude      65.22   $0.92   +1.43%       +0.08%   $61.91   70
 Currencies                                                      
 Euro/dlr      $1.233  $0.003   +0.21%       -0.08%              
 USD/AUD       0.7701   0.001   +0.13%       -0.82%              
 Most active contracts
 Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight
 RSI 14, exponential
 
    

 (Reporting by Colin Packham
Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
  
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