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Morning markets: beans mar brighter crop picture

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Near-term soybeans continued to suffer under the weight of fund liquidations, marring what was, otherwise, a bright start for food commodities on Thursday.

Oil revived a touch, adding $0.65 to $60.79 a barrel at 06:15 GMT, painting a stronger picture for all commodities linked to energy markets.

Traders said that bargain hunters appeared to have stepped in following a fall of 15% in a week.

The dollar was a little easier too against most currencies - bar the yen – as investor fears for the global economic recovery appeared to relax. The euro rose back above $1.39.

Egyptian buying

Both were positive signs for food commodities, and most Chicago crops, plus Kuala Lumpur palm oil, took the bait.

July corn added 2.25 cents to $3.41 ¾ a bushel, although trade on the contract has dwindled to a trickle now it is within a week of expiry.

The better-traded September lot added 2.5 cents to $3.27 ¾ a bushel, a gain echoed across further ahead contracts.

Wheat had the extra spur of buying by Egypt, which purchased 175,000 tonnes of American and French wheat on Wednesday.

July wheat added 5.75 cents to $4.94 ½ a bushel, with September 5.75 cents higher at $5.23 a bushel.

Soybeans suffer

New crop soybean contracts were higher too. November, for instance, was 12 cents up at $9.04 a bushel.

However, the July lot continued to suffer in its dying days, down a further 20.25 cents to a two-month low of $10.67 a bushel as traders continued to unwind positioning of "long old crop, short new crop".

The contract has now lost 15% in five trading days.

'Bear grip'

Palm oil, nonetheless, soybeans' oilseed partner, looked on course for its first positive day since July 1, although traders were unconvinced by its bounce from a 14-week low.

"The bears still have their grip on the market," a trader told Reuters, the news agency.

"Demand has still not come in and supply is becoming more comfortable. We can only go down."

The benchmark September contract closed the morning session on Bursa Malaysia's Derivatives Exchange up 20 ringgit to 2,022 ringgit per tonne.

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