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GRAINS-Wheat firms nearly 1.5 pct as hot, dry weather expected to linger

* Wheat lingers near two-year high

* Corn little changed after hitting one-year top

* Soybeans hit four-month peak

SYDNEY, July 11 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rose nearly 1.5 percent on Tuesday as forecasts for further crop-damaging weather across a key growing region pushed prices towards a two-year high hit last week. Corn was little changed after earlier hitting a one-year high, while soybeans jumped to a four-month high. The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 1.3 percent to $5.57-1/4 a bushel by 0224 GMT, having closed up 2.8 percent on Tuesday. Wheat hit a high of $5.74-1/2 per bushel last week, the highest in two years. "Weather forecasters expect little rain in North American spring wheat regions for yet another week and they are boosting temperature forecasts to damaging levels," said Tobin Gorey, director, agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. With more hot, dry weather expected across the U.S. Plains, analysts expect further production declines. The U.S. Department of Agriculture late on Monday rated 35 percent of U.S. spring wheat crop at good to excellent as of July 9, a decline of two percent from the previous week, but matching analyst expectations after sustained hot, dry weather. The most active corn futures rose 0.12 percent to $4.15-1/4 a bushel, near the session high of $4.17-1/4 a bushel - the highest since June 2016. Corn closed up 2.5 percent on Monday. The USDA rated 65 percent of the U.S. corn crop in good to excellent condition, down from 68 percent the previous week. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected a drop of 1 percentage point. The most active soybean futures were up 0.4 percent at $10.43-3/4 a bushel, near the session high of $10.47 a bushel - the highest since March 6. Soybeans firmed 2.3 percent on Monday. Farmers in Brazil's top producing state of Mato Grosso have sold 9.36 percent of their 2017/18 soybean crop, estimated at 30.6 million tonnes, up from 4.2 percent of that volume in June, Imea, the state's agricultural research agency said on Monday.

Grains prices at 0224 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 557.25 7.25 +1.32% +4.16% 483.62 71 CBOT corn 415.25 0.50 +0.12% +2.59% 397.26 80 CBOT soy 1043.75 4.50 +0.43% +2.78% 948.93 93 CBOT rice 12.00 -$0.03 -0.21% +0.63% $11.63 73 WTI crude 44.54 $0.14 +0.32% +0.70% $45.44 46

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.139 $0.000 -0.04% -0.05% USD/AUD 0.7610 0.001 +0.07% +0.07%

Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)