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GRAINS-Corn jumps 1.5% as rains threaten to further slow planting

SYDNEY, May 16 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures jumped more than 1.5% on Thursday as forecasts for more rain across a key growing region stoked fears of further planting delays.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 1.6% to $3.75-1/2 a bushel by 0044 GMT, near the session high of $3.64 a bushel - the highest since May 8. Corn closed up 0.2% in the previous session when prices hit a high of $3.80 a bushel - the highest since March 26.

* The most active wheat futures were up 0.7% at $4.52-1/2 a bushel, after closing little changed on Wednesday.

* The most active soybean futures added 1.6% at $8.15 a bushel after closing up 0.5% on Wednesday when prices hit a high of $8.48-1/4 a bushel - the highest since May 3.

* Corn draws support as rains forecast across the U.S. Midwest, threatening to further delay plantings.

* If farmers are unable to sow corn, they will switch to soybeans, which has a later planting window.

* U.S. farmers seeded 30% of the U.S. 2019 corn crop by Sunday, the government said, lagging the five-year average of 66%. The soybean crop was 9% planted, behind the five-year average of 29%.

* The National Oilseed Processors Association said its U.S. members crushed 159.99 million bushels of soybeans in April, down from 170.0 million in March and below an average of analyst expectations for 161.6 million.

MARKET NEWS

* The euro was buoyant on Thursday as trade concerns eased on expectations that U.S. President Donald Trump will delay implementing tariffs on imported cars.

* Oil futures inched up on Wednesday as the prospect of mounting tensions in the Middle East hitting global supplies overshadowed an unexpected build in U.S. crude inventories.

* U.S. stocks closed higher on Wednesday as reports that U.S. President Donald Trump would hold off on imposing tariffs on imported cars and parts eased growth concerns even as economic data disappointed investors.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0130 Australia Employment April 0130 Australia Unemployment Rate April 1230 US Housing Starts number April 1230 US Initial Jobless Claims weekly -- Indonesia 7-Day Reverse Repo May -- Indonesia Deposit Facility Rate May -- Indonesia Lending Facility Rate May

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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