GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybean Futures Bounce Higher on Weather

Grain and soybean futures rose, extending gains from last week as weather concerns mounted.

Traders were monitoring the Category 5 Hurricane Irma, which could hit Florida by the weekend and potentially affect crops in the Gulf or the Carolinas. Meanwhile, analysts said dryness in the Midwest could stress crops in states such as Iowa and Illinois, reducing quality as corn and soybeans mature.

Soybean prices led gains. Oilseed futures for September delivery rose 2% to $9.60 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, closing at the highest point since Aug. 9.

Harvest of Drought-Afflicted Spring Wheat Nearly Complete -- Market Talk

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16:28 ET - US farmers are nearly finished harvesting a beleaguered spring wheat crop, according to the USDA. Government data shows farmers picked up the pace last week, collecting 89% of the nation's spring wheat crop as of Sunday. That's up from 76% a week earlier and ahead of the average pace for the last five years. Wheat crops in the northern Plains have been beset by drought this year, and grain analysts also are concerned about the effect of adverse weather on corn and soybean harvests. US corn crop quality slipped by one percentage point from last week to 61% good-or-excellent, the USDA says, while top-rated soybeans held steady at 61%. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

U.S., Canada, Mexico Make Minor Progress on Nafta Talks

MEXICO CITY -- U.S., Canadian and Mexican officials, buffeted by political disagreements and controversial moves by the Trump administration, notched relatively minor progress in recent days in a big push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement this year.

The second round of Nafta talks in Mexico City wasn't intended to result in major breakthroughs or serious horse-trading among negotiators, and more substantive progress is expected in the third round later this month in Ottawa, officials said. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the second round built on the preparatory work of the first round in Washington.

Kroger Seeks to Repel Amazon's Onslaught

Kroger Co. is looking for a sales bump to show investors and analysts it can withstand Amazon.com Inc.'s rapid advance in the grocery business.

Shares in the nation's largest supermarket by store count and sales have slid 35% this year, erasing more than $7 billion in value. Investors are watching whether Kroger and other grocers can hold on to customers after Amazon's takeover of Whole Foods Market Inc. The company reports second-quarter results on Friday.

THE MARKETS:

Hog Futures Touch Upper Limit

Hog futures leaped as a slump in meat and cash prices halted.

Lean hog futures for October delivery at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange rose 3.7% to 63.75 cents a pound, touching their upper daily limit of 64.45 cents earlier in the session. That was the highest close since August 24.

Cattle futures, meanwhile, were mixed, closing lower despite a late-morning surge. CME October live cattle contracts fell 0.7% to $1.04425 a pound, while September feeder cattle dropped 0.5% to $1.4205 a pound.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 05, 2017 17:28 ET (21:28 GMT)