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Shares, dollar and oil weigh on commodities

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Agricultural commodity futures started Wednesday in the same mood as they went to bed – downbeat.

Tuesday's late slide in US markets, blamed on a weak oil price and strong dollar, continued this morning, with Chicago corn for May delivery down 4.25 cents at $3.92 a bushel at 09:00 GMT.

Wheat was 5.25 cents lower at $5.34 ½ a bushel, and soy 7.75 cents down at $9.81 ¾ a bushel.

Traders blamed the slide on continued strength in the dollar against the euro, which lost further ground to $1.321, and on falling share prices.

"We are seeing global equity prices under further pressure – Asian equities down," Garry Booth, an MF Global Australia commodity trader told Reuters.

"Selling pressure is coming in and probably grains will remain under pressure until we see how... US equities perform."

Palm oil recovery

Oil prices were also weak, with Brent crude down $0.87 at $50.35 a barrel and New York crude $1.12 lower at $48.03.

Nonetheless, palm oil staged a rebound, with the benchmark June contract recovering from a drop to 2,153 ringgit a tonne to stand at 2,180 ringgit a tonne in late trade, in line with Tuesday's close. The contract was helped by lingering concerns over Malaysian stocks.

By Mike Verdin

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