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Morning markets: crops drift ahead of key report

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Crops drifted lower on Friday in the vacuum ahead of key data, bar palm oil which staged a rebound from its 12-week lows.

Trading was muted in both Chicago and Kuala Lumpur ahead of a key US report on world demand and supply in farm commodities.

While the report does not cover palm oil, it does look at its close rival, soy oil.

Besides, palm has its own Malaysian production, exports and stocks data to worry about next week, which are expected to indicate a loosesning market.

Palm rises

In Kuala Lumpur, investors took the uncertainty as an excuse to cover short positions, after palm on Thursday closed at its lowest since July.

A strong performance by soy in Chicago overnight also helped keep bearish sentiment in check.

Benchmark December contract palm oil closed the morning session on the Bursa Malaysia derivatives exchange up 32 ringgit at 2,062 ringgit a tonne.

Dollar recovers

Chicago crops, however, had the headwind of a stronger dollar to deal with, after Ben Bernanke, the head of America's central bank, reminded of the need eventually to tighten monetary policy.

The euro fell 0.4% to $1.4728. A stronger dollar makes US exports less competitive.

Wheat led the decline, losing 4.5 cents to $4.69 ½ a bushel for December delivery. December corn shed 1.5 cents to $3.62 ½ a bushel.

Soybeans for November shed 1.25 cents to $3.62 ¾ a bushel.

The US Department of Agriculture's monthly crop supply and demand report, which is expected to raise estimates for both America's corn and soybean harvests, is due at 12:30 GMT.


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