Wheat firms, but still near lowest in over five years

Close up of ripe wheat ears against beautiful sky with clouds. Selective focus.

U.S. wheat inched up Wednesday, rebounding from losses of over 1.5 percent in the previous session when it hit a more than 5-1/2-year low, but gains were curbed by ample global supply.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active wheat futures contract on the Chicago Board of Trade edged up $4.45-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 1.6 percent on Tuesday.

* The most active soybeans futures climbed 0.15 percent to $8.59-1/4 a bushel. They closed down 0.35 percent on Tuesday when prices marked a low of $8.57 a bushel – their weakest since January 6.

* The most active corn futures rose 0.35 percent to $3.57 a bushel, after ending down 0.35 percent in the last session, when prices hit a six-week low.

* Monthly crop reports released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture late Monday showed crop condition ratings in Kansas, the top U.S. winter wheat producer, improved in February.

* While ratings fell in several other states, winter wheat was in better shape than a year ago in Oklahoma and Montana, the No. 3 and 4 winter wheat states last year.

* Global wheat ending stocks for 2015/16 are projected to reach an all-time high, the USDA has said, while U.S. wheat exports are forecast at a 44-year low.

* A strong dollar has made U.S. grains less attractive to those holding other currencies. The dollar set a one-month high against the euro after U.S. manufacturing data appeared to stabilise in February.

MARKET NEWS

* The yen nursed broad losses early in Asia on Wednesday, having suffered a big reversal overnight as traders in London and New York took a brighter view on the global economy and dumped the safe-haven Japanese currency.

* Oil prices dropped on Wednesday in the wake of industry data that showed a huge build in U.S. crude stockpiles.

* Wall Street enjoyed its strongest session in a month on Tuesday, led by financial and technology stocks after encouraging U.S. factory and construction data suggested the world’s biggest economy was regaining momentum.

[reuters]

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