May 21, 2020 / 3:38 AM / 17 days ago

GRAINS-Wheat extends gains as worries about global crops persist

SYDNEY, May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose for a third straight session on Thursday, as concerns about the quality of global crops pushed prices towards the more than one-week high hit in the previous session.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 0.5% to $5.16-1/4 a bushel by 0113 GMT, having closed up 3% on Wednesday after hitting a May 12 high of $5.17-3/4 a bushel.

* Soybean futures were unchanged at $8.46-3/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.5% on Wednesday after touching a May 13 high of $8.49-1/2 a bushel.

* Corn futures were up 0.1% at $3.19-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.5% in the previous session.

* Rains across Europe offer hope for drought stricken crops, but dry weather persists across the Black Sea region.

* A decline in the U.S. winter wheat crop ratings last week and below-expected crop outlook during a Kansas wheat tour this week also buoyed the market.

* U.S. farmers have made faster-than-normal progress in planting what is expected to be a huge corn acreage this year.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar nursed broad losses and riskier currencies held gains as investors looked to a bright recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, shrugging off diabolical forecasts and rising Sino-U.S. tension.

* Oil prices edged higher after data showed U.S. crude inventories fell again, easing concern about a supply glut, though lingering fears over the global economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic capped gains.

* The three major averages on Wall St notched their fourth gain in five sessions on Wednesday as investors again bet on a swift economic recovery from coronavirus-driven lockdowns and the potential for more stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve.

Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Uttaresh.V

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