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Soybeans ease as U.S. jobs report sends dollar surging

Chicago soybean futures eased on Friday, giving up an earlier rise as much stronger than anticipated U.S. jobs figures triggered a jump in the dollar.

Soybeans remained on course for a weekly gain, however, as participants assessed crop weather in drought-hit Argentina.

Wheat extended an earlier fall as it moved back from a one-month peak on Thursday.

Corn also eased.

The dollar surged after data showed that employers added significantly more jobs in January than economists expected, potentially giving the Federal Reserve more leeway to keep hiking interest rates.

A stronger dollar makes U.S. commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Sv1 ended the overnight session down 0.3% at$15.30 a bushel.

Argentina’s drought was still in focus, however.

The Buenos Aires grains exchange warned on Thursday that, despite recent rainfall, a historic drought over the country’s core agricultural region could still negatively impact the current soybean harvest.

Weather forecasts show high temperatures and limited rain in Argentina in the week ahead.

However, some analysts see limited upside to soy prices given expectations that Brazil will harvest a record soybean crop, despite initial rain delays to harvesting.

CBOT corn was down 0.4% at $6.72-3/4 a bushel while wheat Wv1 gave up 1.1% to $7.52-1/2 a bushel.

The corn market has also been weighing potential drought losses in Argentina against more favourable prospects in Brazil.

Short-term availability of Black Sea supplies, highlighted by Egypt’s purchase on Thursday of 535,000 tonnes of wheat expected to be sourced from Russia, was also curbing cereal prices.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Matthew Chye in Singapore Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Mark Potter)

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