* U.S. soybeans under pressure on lack of Chinese buying * Hopes of easing U.S.-China trade conflict limits losses (Adds details, quotes) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures ticked down on Friday with the market poised to finish lower for a second consecutive week on pressure from a lack of Chinese buying. Wheat prices gained for a third consecutive session as hopes for a pickup in U.S. wheat export pushed the market higher. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade is down around half a percent this week, the second straight weekly loss. Corn climbed 0.3 percent so far this week, after closing 1.2 percent weaker last week, and wheat is down marginally after closing higher for the last two weeks. "There is nothing concrete on Chinese buying, and in that environment of uncertainty it is hard to see an increase in U.S. bean prices," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank. "They may buy U.S. agriculture products at some point, but you have to wait and see." Still, hopes for a thaw in the U.S.-China trade conflict fed investor appetite for risk assets on Friday. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and suggested offering a tariff rollback during trade discussions scheduled for Jan. 30. Adverse weather in South America continued to underpin corn and soybean markets. Numerous crop watchers have scaled back their harvest forecasts for Argentina and Brazil due to stressful weather. The Buenos Aires Grains exchange cut its forecast for Argentine soybean plantings to 17.7 million hectares, from 17.9 million hectares previously, due to excessive rains. Expectations of strong demand for U.S. wheat supported prices. Concerns that harsh cold weather could threaten vulnerable wheat crops in the U.S. plains that do not have a protective blanket of snow provided further strength to the wheat market. The European Union faces higher stockpiles of grains next season as cereal production is expected to rebound after last year's drought-damaged harvest, outpacing rising demand, Strategie Grains analysts said. Grains prices at 0308 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 518.75 1.00 +0.19% +1.52% 518.83 56 CBOT corn 379.25 -0.75 -0.20% +2.15% 379.89 54 CBOT soy 906.50 -1.25 -0.14% +1.48% 910.92 57 CBOT rice 10.50 $0.00 +0.00% +1.16% $10.59 58 WTI crude 52.55 $0.48 +0.92% +0.84% $49.25 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.139 -$0.008 -0.65% -0.92% USD/AUD 0.7194 -0.002 -0.29% +0.13% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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