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Morning markets: corn happy to sit on 6% gains

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Crops took a breather on Friday, even corn, which was satisfied to sit on its 6% gains from the last session.

Weaker stimuli from external markets were part of the reason for food commodities to sit back.

A late round of US corporate results on Thursday, from companies including American Express and Microsoft, were weaker than those which drove the US Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq share indices 2% higher.

That was enough to stop oil in its tracks. New York crude for September followed up 3% gains by standing 5 cents lower at $67.11 a barrel at 06:30 GMT.

Corn sits back

Corn followed a similar pattern, dropping 0.5 cents to $3.26 ½ a bushel for Chicago's September contract. That is 7.4% above its 2009 low for a benchmark lot, which was hit earlier this week.

Wheat, meanwhile, continued upwards amid some talk of potentially improving demand for US exports after Japan said it had bought 87,000 tonnes of American wheat among a 108,000-tonne order.

Still, with latest weekly US export sales data considered poor, the grain has some ground to make up.

September wheat stood 3.25 cents higher at $5.35 a bushel .

Acres question

The main worries were for kept for soybeans, which some traders fear may be the answer to the question: "Where did the corn acres go?"

Corn's rally has been driven by expectations that the US Department of Agriculture will, in an August 12 crop report, cut its estimate for American plantings of the crop, with June rainfall leaving many farmers unable to complete sowing.

But did farmers plant the ground with soybeans instead? The crop requires a shorter growing season than corn, meaning it can be planted later.

Old crop August beans held up, unchanged at $10.22 ¾ a bushel. But new crop beans softened, with November down 8 cents at $9.24 a bushel and forward lots showing similar declines.

Festival doubts

In Kuala Lumpur, palm oil looked to end the week cautiously, ahead of latest export data from cargo surveyors due on Monday which may go some way to settling a demand question.

The Asian festival season typically spurs a rise in Malaysian exports, prompted by greater food demand.

But many traders doubt demand has been that high this year.

Benchmark October palm oil slipped 14 ringgit to 2,086 ringgit per tonne in thin trade during the morning session on Bursa Malaysia's derivatives exchange.

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