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Morning markets: battered corn finds its feet

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Corn steadied on Wednesday, following its worst performance in seven months on data showing a surprise rise in US plantings to their highest since 1946.

Chicago's July contract stood 0.75 cents lower at $3.47 a bushel at 06:00 GMT.

Compared with Tuesday's savaging, when the sowings statistics send the contract down 10.4% to a four-month low of $3.37 ¾ a bushel at one point, that represented a somewhat robust performance.

A revival in oil, which also slumped in the last session on poor US consumer confidence data, may have helped. New York crude for August stood $0.38 higher at $70.27 a barrel.

'Good buying opportunity'

But there was also some hint of bargain hunting.

"We don't see a follow through selling in corn, it's quite steady," Genichiro Higaki, at Sumitomo Corp in Tokyo, told Reuters, the news agency.

"Some people may think it's a good buying opportunity ahead of the most critical period for corn."

With US corn stocks still relatively low, weather setbacks to this year's crop could yet add tightness to the market.

Wheat recovers

Bargain hunters also helped wheat, which was also punished on Tuesday because of higher plantings, recover some lost ground.

The July contract, now in its last days, added 2.25 cents to $5.13 ½ a bushel. Better-traded September wheat was 3.25 cents higher at $5.44 a bushel.

But soybeans remained the crop in demand, adding 21.75 cents to $12.48 a bushel for July, gains reflected in new crop contracts too.

November beans added 18.5 cents to come within 0.5 cents of hitting $10 a bushel once more.

Soybeans did relatively well out of the US planting report, with the crop's sowing acreage raised, but not by as much as traders had expected.

Palm oil 'oversold'

Indeed, the soy complex helped palm oil recover some ground too, with the benchmark September contract adding 17 ringgit higher at 2,247 a tonne during the morning session on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.

"The market was a bit oversold yesterday but it pulled up back because of rebound in soy bean oil today," a trader said.

By Mike Verdin

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