Who cares about the Dow Jones Industrial Average?
OK, Asian shares hardly put in a bravura performance on Thursday, with Tokyo's Nikkei index closing down 0.6%. But that was better than the 4.6% slide by Wall Street's Dow index in the last session.
South Korea's Kospi index ended up 0.6%, while Shanghai shares were 1.3% higher in late deals.
And agricultural commodities reflected that more upbeat mood too, with better sentiment lessening fears for the demand side, although the prospect later of the US Department of Agriculture's August Wasde crop report – a particularly important issue of the monthly briefing – loomed large.
Mood on soybeans was helped not just by the higher oil price, with
And a lift in the peg of the yuan to the dollar to a record 6.3991 on Thursday, crossing the psychologically important 6.40-yuan-a-dollar mark was seen as a mark of Chinese confidence, even as the US stumbles.
Meanwhile, the Korea Feed Association bought 110,000 tonnes of soymeal from Glencore at an average of $416 a tonne.
Chicago soybeans for November added 1.2% to $13.17 a bushel, crossing back over the important 200-day moving average.
Sticking with oilseeds, the China factor helped
Sure, some of this might have been down to a one-off. "Reports on the ground indicate that some exporters switched sales from Indonesia to Malaysia in anticipation of a lowering of Indonesia's palm oil export tax," Abah Ofon at Standard Chartered said.
However, with data from cargo surveyors showing Malaysian export remain strong, "we remain fundamentally bullish on palm oil", Mr Ofton said, forecasting improvement in Chinese and Indian orders.
"In addition, the discount between crude palm oil and
Back in Chicago, soyoil for September was 1.2% higher at 53.79 cents a pound.
And grains were higher too, notably
At Benson Quinn Commodities, Brian Henry also clocked talk of a USDA downgrade to US spring wheat harvest forecast, if striking a less bullish note.
"I believe lower production will be partially, if not completely, offset by lower spring wheat usage," he said.
Minneapolis spring wheat for September delivery rose 0.7% to $8.42 ¾ a bushel, with Chicago soft red winter wheat, the speculator's favourite, adding 1.0% to $6.92 a bushel for the same month.
Of course, "the Wasde estimates as they pertain to
A drop of some 3 bushels an acre is expected from last month's 158.7 bushels per acre, with a figure even a little distance either way seen likely to provoke significant volatility in prices.
Still, even amid nerves ahead of the data, the higher oil price - a key factor for a grain of which some 40% of the US crop is used in making ethanol - and weaker dollar helped raise the December contract by 0.5% to $6.92 ¼ a bushel.