U.S. grains: Corn, wheat futures firm

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn and wheat futures closed slightly higher on Friday, as their recent rally from multi-week lows ran out of steam in the absence of fresh fundamental news, traders said.

Soybeans weakened, their ninth decline in 10 sessions as the market remained anchored by expectations of a record crop in Brazil.

“The corn and wheat rebounds have run into chart resistance while nearby soybeans are stuck to the $10 mark,” Matt Zeller, director of market information of INTL FCStone, said in a note to clients (all figures US$).

A weakening U.S. dollar, which makes U.S. commodities more attractive to overseas buyers as well as investors looking for a hedge against inflation, provided some support to the grains and oilseeds.

The dollar fell to a five-week low on Friday, remaining under pressure for a third straight session after the Federal Reserve quashed hopes for a further bull run in the currency by keeping a gradual pace to its monetary tightening policy.

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures for May delivery settled up 1-1/2 cents at $3.67-1/2 a bushel, just below its session high. CBOT May wheat was 1/4 cent higher at $4.36-1/4 a bushel.

CBOT wheat received support from gains in K.C. hard red winter wheat and MGEX spring wheat contracts, which rose on overseas demand for high-protein supplies.

Both corn and wheat firmed hit technical resistance at their 100-day moving averages.

CBOT May soybeans settled down 1-1/2 cents at $10 a bushel.

For the week, soybean futures fell 0.6 per cent, wheat futures dropped 0.9 per cent and corn futures rose one per cent.

Ample supplies and the prospects for strong global harvests limited any rally attempts.

Argentine corn and soybeans should benefit from high yields brought by good weather, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, adding it might increase its soybean harvest estimate.

“The Brazilian crop is so big that it is hard for soybeans to rally,” said Kaname Gokon at brokerage Okato Shoji in Tokyo.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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