GRAINS-Wheat firms for 8th session, near five-week top

SYDNEY, May 1 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures rose for the eighth consecutive session on Thursday, hovering close to a five-week high hit in the previous session, as a widely watched U.S. crop tour reported yields well below historical averages due to dry weather.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chicago Board Of Trade July wheat rose 0.17 percent to $7.22-3/4 a bushel, having closed up 0.7 percent on Wednesday when the grain hit a high of $7.24-3/4 a bushel, the highest since March 20.

* July soybeans fell 0.13 percent to $15.10-3/4 a bushel, having slipped 0.3 percent on Wednesday.

* July corn eased 0.1 percent to $5.18-1/2 a bushel, having lost 0.58 percent in the previous session.

* Crop scouts on the second day of an annual three-day tour of Kansas projected an average yield for hard red winter wheat in the southwestern portion of the state at 30.8 bushels per acre, down from 37.1 bushels a year ago.

* Yield prospects for winter wheat in northern Kansas are the worst in more than a decade following months of drought, a frigid winter and a mid-April freeze, scouts on an annual crop tour of the top U.S. wheat state said.

* Corn under pressure as favorable planting weather forecast. Warmer and drier conditions were forecast beginning this weekend in the southern and central U.S. Corn Belt, the Commodity Weather Group said in a note to clients.

* Corn also pressured after a U.S. Energy Information Administration report showing the ethanol stockpile at the largest level since July.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar wallowed at three-week lows against a basket of major currencies early on Thursday, still shaky after a shocking set of data showed the U.S. economy all but stalled in the first quarter.

* Brent crude oil futures finished just above $108 per barrel on Wednesday after trading below that most of the day as crude oil inventories in the United States rose to a record high and traders anticipated increased exports from Libya.

* The Dow closed at its first record high of 2014 on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat view of the economy’s prospects as it announced another cut to its massive bond-buying program.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0100 CN NBS Manufacturing PMI for April 1130 US Challenger Layoffs for April 1230 US Personal consumption for March 1230 US Personal Income for March 1230 US Consumption, Adjusted for March 1230 US Core PCE Price Index for March 1230 Initial Jobless Claims 1400 US Construction Spending for March 1400 US ISM Manufacturing Index for April US Total Vehicle Sales for April

Grains prices at 0025 GMT Contract

Last

Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat

722.75

1.25 +0.17%

+0.87%

696.42 68 CBOT corn

518.50

-0.50 -0.10%

-0.58%

504.17 66 CBOT soy

1510.75

-2.00 -0.13%

-0.43%

1465.08 69 CBOT rice

$15.57

$0.01 +0.06%

+0.16%

$15.53 66 WTI crude

$99.72 -$0.02 -0.02%

-1.54%

$101.50 30 Currencies

Euro/dlr

$1.387 $0.000 -0.01%

+0.39% USD/AUD

0.929

0.000 +0.03%

+0.19% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Ed Davies)

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