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Wheat faces second weekly loss on dollar surge, rain forecasts

PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago wheat futures edged lower on Friday to head for a second straight weekly fall as it faced headwinds from a strengthening dollar and forecasts of some rain relief in U.S. hard red winter wheat belts.

PARIS/SINGAPORE - Chicago wheat futures edged lower on Friday to head for a second straight weekly fall as it faced headwinds from a strengthening dollar and forecasts of some rain relief in U.S. hard red winter wheat belts. Soybeans ticked lower and were set to finish the week little changed, with the oilseed market weighing up brisk recent export sales against the prospect that the dollar surge and upcoming South American supplies could curb shipments going forward. Corn edged up and was poised to post a small weekly gain after falling for two consecutive weeks. The dollar index hit another post-April 2003 high on Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled a U.S. interest rate rise is likely next month, adding impetus to a dollar rally triggered by Donald Trump's election win. "The stunning rise in the dollar is not helpful for the U.S. grain market," Alexandre Boy of consultancy Agritel said. "But the weekly export figures were decent so that is helping underpin prices." The Chicago Board Of Trade most-active wheat contract was down 0.4 percent at $4.01-1/2 a bushel by 1334 GMT, as it hovered above the psychological $4 threshold. CBOT corn added 0.2 percent to $3.42-1/2 a bushel while soybeans edged down 0.1 percent to $9.88-1/4 a bushel. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported export sales of U.S. wheat in the week to Nov. 10 at 598,400 tonnes, at the high end of trade expectations for 400,000 to 600,000 tonnes. The USDA reported export sales of U.S. corn in the week to Nov. 10 at 1,661,000 tonnes, topping a range of trade expectations for 900,000 to 1.2 million tonnes. However, traders expect exchange rates to pressure export activity, particularly in corn sales to Mexico after the peso slid since Trump's election as U.S. president. A stronger dollar makes greenback-priced commodities expensive for foreign buyers holding other currencies. Wheat has found some background support in dry conditions in hard red winter growing belts in the United States, although forecasts for some rain in the coming two weeks has eased concerns. Wheat could also be underpinned by expectations for a decline in plantings for next year's harvest. Private analytics firm Informa Economics lowered its estimate of U.S. winter wheat plantings for harvest in 2017 to 33.761 million acres from 35.421 million, trade sources said. Informa projected U.S. all-wheat plantings for 2017 at 47.265 million acres, the sources said, which if realized would be the fewest in U.S. Department of Agriculture records dating to 1919.Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne(Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Tom Hogue/Mark Heinrich)

Related Topics: WHEAT
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