Soybean Futures Rise Before Thanksgiving

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Soybean futures led gains ahead of the Thanksgiving break, helped by moves in the U.S. dollar and crude oil.

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The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.8% to 86.59. Those losses made U.S. crops more affordable for global buyers. Higher crude oil prices, meanwhile, attracted investors to agricultural markets.

Analysts pointed to oilseed prices' track record of rising before Thanksgiving as another factor. Over the past 42 years, soybeans have rallied 74% of the days before the break, said Karl Setzer of MaxYield Cooperative, rising 62% of the time the day after. But the range is harder to predict with fewer years, Mr. Setzer said.

"One thing that is very different from past years to this one is our current stocks to use that has been a major limiting factor for any rally," Mr. Setzer said.

Soybean futures for January rose 0.8% to $9.97 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Corn and wheat futures were mixed. CBOT December wheat fell 0.5% to $4.22 3/4 a bushel while December corn rose 0.1% to $3.45 1/4 a bushel.

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Wheat prices were under pressure as a scare over heightened radioactivity levels in Russia eased. The wheat market had rallied on Tuesday on concerns that the sharp increase in radioactivity over the Ural Mountains could affect production and send prices higher, catching out speculative investors who have built large net short positions.

Calming nerves on Wednesday prompted some selling, analysts said.

Meanwhile, traders continue to look to South American weather for indications of next year's global supply outlook. The Commodity Weather Group said that current forecasts offer rain relief to half of the driest corn and soybeans in Argentina, where concerns about crops are mounting. Showers are aiding Brazilian crops, however.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 22, 2017 15:32 ET (20:32 GMT)