Grain, Soybean Futures Under Pressure

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Grain and soybean futures were mostly lower as a rising dollar and falling crude oil prices weighed down markets.

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The WSJ Dollar Index--which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies--rose 0.2% to 86.61, helping make U.S. crops more expensive for global buyers. Lower crude oil prices, meanwhile, lured investors out of the commodity sector.

January soybean futures fell 0.3% to $9.93 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, while December corn contracts slid 0.7% to $3.36 1/4 a bushel.

The prospect of better growing conditions in South America exacerbated the selling, with traders concerned about oversupply and tougher export competition. Recent dryness in Argentina has supported the futures market, but forecasters say more rain is now expected next week.

Brazilian crops, meanwhile, have mostly benefited from plenty of moisture in recent days, easing worries about the season there.

Wheat futures were mixed. The front-month December contract closed 0.3% higher at $4.10 3/4 a bushel, while later months were mostly lower.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that winter wheat conditions fell to 50% good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 52% a week earlier and 58% the same time last year.

The front-month December contracts for corn and wheat were approaching their first notice day for physical delivery. Analysts said that was sparking further selling as speculative investors liquidated their positions in those markets.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 28, 2017 16:34 ET (21:34 GMT)