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Commodities wake up to Groundhog Day

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Commodities woke up to Groundhog Day, with palm oil and soybeans once again shrugging off a weak oil market.

Bursa Malaysia's benchmark June contract traded 75 ringgit, or 3.2%, higher at 2,410 ringgit a tonne at 08:30 GMT as last week's bullish stocks data continued to attract investors.

"If you look at stocks, we are now in a tight supply situation," a Kuala Lumpur-based trader told Reuters. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Friday that the country's palm oil stocks had shrunk to their lowest since June 2007.

Oil slips

The buoyant market defied another weak performance on the oil markets, where New York crude added a further $0.19 to yesterday's 4% loss, taking the price back below $50 a barrel.

Traders said that disappointment at last week's International Energy Agency forecasts of lower demand were being compounded by jitters ahead of key US stocks data.

In Chicago, soybeans again led the field, with benchmark May contract up 3.25 cents at $10.24 ¾ a bushel.

Wheat gained some support from last night's US figures showing backward spring wheat planting, although expectations were tempered somewhat by an estimate from UkrAgroConsult that Ukrainian exports would hit 23.4m tonnes in the current season, 2.6m tonnes higher than its previous forecast.

European wheat suffered more, with London's May contract opening £0.25 lower at £107.75 a tonne.

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