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Morning markets: soybeans do best in thin dealing

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Soybeans regained the lead among Chicago's big three, looking to bounce from their worst close in a month, in trade which, which Christmas near, remained thin.

January soybeans stood 5.5 cents higher at $10.06 ½ a bushel at 07:45 GMT, seeking their first positive close in four trading days.

Some traders pointed to the positive influence of Chinese prices. Soybeans on the Dalian exchange were 0.5% higher.

However, others remain unconvinced that the rally will last, given the potential of a huge South American crop which will compete with US soybeans for importers' money from early next year.

Some traders are talking of a huge Brazilian crop, of 67m tonnes, 4m tonnes higher than current US Department of Agriculture forecasts, which will begin to be harvested next month.

Prospects for Argentina's harvest are also looking better following weekend rain.

Grains weaken

Indeed, some traders said that the rise was only down to a little short-covering ahead of the holiday, with that mean for some closing a short soybeans-long corn trade.

Indeed, corn was a touch lower too, down 0.5 cents at $3.99 ½ a bushel for March delivery.

Wheat for March was easier too, down 0.5 cents to $5.19 a bushel, and continuing to receive barbed comments from analysts about its poor fundamentals, given the huge global supplies.

Dave Lehl at broker Benson Quinn Commodities said he was looking for wheat "to fall further" if the dollar holds its ground.

"More quiet choppy trade with a negative bias for the rest of the week seems likely," he said.

Trade was certainly quiet thus far, with around 550 March wheat lots traded and less than 1,800 March corn contracts.

China read through

Selling pressure was evident in Kuala Lumpur too, where palm oil set a negative note for a second day.

Monday's weak export data were blamed in part for the decline, as was a 1% slide in the Dalian price for soyoil, palm oil's main competitor in the vegetable oils market. China is the biggest importer of Malaysian palm.

The benchmark March contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange stood 35 ringgit lower at 2,520 ringgit a tonne.


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