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Morning markets: weak dollar comforts edgy crops

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A weak dollar helped Chicago crops make minimal headway on Friday, although trading remained muted ahead of the key US food commodities report due later.

The dollar fell to a one-year low against a basket of major currencies, good news for anyone exporting assets, including many agricultural commodities, denominated in the currency.

The greenback hit its lowest since December against the euro, which climbed to $1.4622.

That, along with an International Energy Agency lift to its outlook for oil demand, helped crude ahead too, with New York light crude for November standing $0.36 higher at $72.63 a barrel at 06:10 GMT.

The higher crude gets, the more attractive the biofuels become that are made from plants such as corn.

Big report

Still, some short-covering continued in many Chicago crops, with the prospect of a potentially momentous US Department of Agriculture report on food commodity supply and demand out as 12:30 GMT.

Analysts have forecast large upward revisions to USDA estimates for America's corn and soybean harvests.

Weather forecasts remained benign, with Meteorlogix's forecast for corn crops in the east and west of the US: "Generally favorable conditions for filling corn.

"Crop development is remains well behind normal in some areas making the crop vulnerable to an early freeze. Warmer temperatures continue to improve crop development."

Chicago corn for December stood 0.25 cents higher at $3.15 1.2 a bushel, with the September contract gaining the same margin to $3.09 ¾ a bushel in thin trade.

November soybeans added 0.25 cents $9.26 ¾ a bushel, with wheat for December up 1.75 cents at $4.60 ½ a bushel.

Nervous palm

The prospect of a USDA report hung over Kuala Lumpur trade too, limiting volumes on the benchmark November contract to 3,738 lots of 25 tonnes in the morning session on Bursa Malaysia's Derivatives Exchange.

A typical volume would be 5,000 lots.

The market also retained some hangover from Thursday's weak exports data, which tripped up a price rally.

The November contract slipped 3 ringgit to 2,181 ringgit a tonne in morning trade.

"The USDA report is expected to be unfriendly but on the other hand, the market has dropped a lot," a trader said.


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