December 18, 2019 / 2:02 AM / a month ago

GRAINS-Wheat falls 1%; hopes of demand uptick, Argentina tax hike cap losses

SYDNEY, Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell 1% on Wednesday, retreating from a near six-month high hit in the previous session, but expectations of rise in demand for North American supplies and Argentina’s plans to raise export taxes on the grain kept losses in check.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 1% at $5.50-1/2 a bushel by 0134 GMT, after closing 0.5% higher on Tuesday, when prices hovered close to a June 27 high.

* The most active soybean futures were down 0.1% at $9.28-1/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.7% on Tuesday when prices hit a Nov. 8 high of $9.31 a bushel.

* The most active corn futures were little changed at$3.89-3/4 a bushel, having gained 1.2% in the previous session.

* U.S. wheat exports buoyed by moves in Argentina to raise export taxes on agricultural products.

* Argentina wants to raise export taxes on wheat and corn to 15% from 12%, Economy Minister Martin Guzman told a news conference.

* The bill, dubbed by the government the “Social Solidarity and Production Reactivation” project, would also raise the tariff cap on soybean exports to 33% from 30%.

MARKET NEWS

* The pound nursed heavy losses on Wednesday after tumbling when Britain re-set a hard deadline for quitting the European Union, rekindling old fears of a chaotic exit from the bloc.

* Oil prices rose more than 1% on Tuesday, supported by hopes the U.S.-China trade deal will bolster oil demand in 2020 after a prolonged dispute between the world’s two largest economies dented global market sentiment.

* Wall Street’s major indexes inched higher on Tuesday, extending their record-setting rally, as strong housing and manufacturing data bolstered investors’ confidence in the U.S. economy.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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