Content ID

336026

GRAINS-Soybean futures rally on China easing COVID restrictions

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Weaker dollar improves U.S. export outlook

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Commodities rise as China relaxes some COVID curbs

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Corn market gains boosted by strength in crude oil market

(Rewrites throughout, adds quote, updates prices, adds bullet points, changes byline, changes dateline from HAMBURG)

By P.J. Huffstutter

CHICAGO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat, corn and soybeans rose on Friday, underpinned by strong commodities and equities markets, as well as hopes that China's easing of COVID-19 restrictions could boost demand.

Soybeans bounced on hopes that China's move to ease some COVID-19 curbs might spur economic activity, potentially boosting demand for goods including soybeans.

China on Friday shortened quarantine by two days for close contacts of infected people and for inbound travellers, and removed a penalty for airlines for bringing in too many cases. The loosening of curbs cheered markets even as experts cautioned that reopening probably remained a long way off.

"The market is viewing that news as something spectacular," said Jack Scoville, market analyst at the Price Futures Group.

Strength in crude oil also lent support to soybeans, as well as the corn market on the day. Corn sometimes follows trends in crude oil, due to its role as the main U.S. feedstock for ethanol fuel.

And the dollar dipped for a second trading day, as investors bet that peaking U.S. inflation will prompt the Federal Reserve to hold back interest rate hikes.

That, in turn, bolstered agricultural commodities, as a weaker dollar is typically seen as making U.S. goods more competitive on the global market, traders said.

Wheat futures firmed on bargain buying, a day after the CBOT December contract dipped to a two-month low, and ongoing uncertainty about grain exports from war-torn Ukraine.

Talks between a Russian delegation and senior U.N. officials to address Moscow's grievances about the Black Sea grains export initiative began in Geneva, with the present agreement expiring on Nov. 19, plus efforts to smooth shipments of Russian food and fertilisers, a U.N. spokesperson said.

Chicago Board of Trade most active wheat was up 7-3/4 cents at $8.11-1/4 a bushel at 1642 GMT. Corn rose 4-1/4 cents to $6-57-1/2 a bushel, and soybeans were up 29 cents at $14.52 a bushel. (Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg, additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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