GRAINS-Soybeans edge lower, linger near 2-week high

CANBERRA, March 24 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures on Wednesday edged away from a two-week high touched in the previous session, as a stronger U.S. dollar dented the commodity’s export prospects.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.1% at $14.22-1/4 a bushel by 0126 GMT, having firmed 0.4% on Tuesday when prices hit a March 10 high of $14.35 a bushel.

* The most-active corn futures edged down 0.3% to $5.49-3/4 a bushel, having gained 0.4% in the previous session.

* The most-active wheat futures were up 0.1% at $6.35-1/4 a bushel, having closed up 1.2% on Tuesday.

* Delays to Brazil’s second-crop corn planting had investors concerned, while recent purchases of U.S. corn by China eroded already tight supplies.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) March 31 quarterly stocks and planting intentions reports, with an anticipated increase in corn acres, is pressuring corn prices.

* The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in a weekly crop report on Monday rated 45% of the Kansas winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, up from 38% a week earlier.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar index rose against a basket of most major currencies on Tuesday, surpassing a two-week high, while yields on U.S. Treasuries slipped as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress inflation will not get out of hand.

* Oil prices plunged about 6% on Tuesday, falling even lower in post-settlement trade, as concerns over new pandemic curbs and slow vaccine rollouts in Europe added to oversupply uneasiness.

* Asian stocks were poised to follow Wall Street lower on Wednesday as the cost of the U.S. stimulus and infrastructure plans and new pandemic curbs limited investors’ risk appetite.

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