July 31, 2020 / 2:12 AM / 12 days ago

GRAINS-Soybeans hit 3-day high, set for monthly gains of 1%

SYDNEY, July 31 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures edged higher on Friday as strong Chinese demand pushed the oilseed to monthly gains of 1%.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade gained more than 1% for the month, the second straight monthly gain.

* Soybeans up 0.4% at $8.92 a bushel, near the session high of $8.92-1/2 a bushel - the highest since July 28. Soybeans closed 0.3% higher on Thursday.

* The most-active corn futures down 4% for the month, the first monthly fall in three months.

* The most-active wheat futures up nearly 8% for the month, the biggest monthly gain since March.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed sales of 1.937 million tonnes of corn to China, the Asian country’s largest single-day purchase of the U.S. feed grain.

* The USDA, which is scheduled to release updated monthly crop production forecasts on Aug. 12, currently projects the average national corn yield at 178.5 bushels per acre, a record high if realized.

* The USDA reported soybean export sales in the week ended July 23 at more than 3.6 million tonnes, above a range of trade expectations.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar slipped to two-year lows on Friday and is on track to post its biggest monthly decline in 10 years, as investors worried that a recovery in the U.S. economy could be stymied by a second wave of coronavirus.

* Oil prices rose on Friday, recovering further ground after touching three-week lows in the previous session, hit by a record decline in U.S. growth as the coronavirus ravaged the world’s biggest economy and oil consumer.

* Asian equities were set to rise on Friday after shares of Apple, Amazon and Facebook surged in extended trading on Thursday, with Alphabet also climbing, while the U.S. dollar continued to slide.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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