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GRAINS-Corn jumps 2 pct as hot, dry weather seen hurting U.S. crops

SYDNEY, July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. corn rose nearly 2 percent on Tuesday as forecasts for unfavorable weather fueled concerns of further damage to crops.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 1.8 percent at $3.95 a bushel at 0055 GMT, having closed down 0.4 percent in the previous session.

* The most active soybean futures were up 1.4 percent to $10.11 a bushel, having closed down 0.4 percent on Monday.

* The most active wheat futures rose 1.1 percent to $5.11-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.9 percent previously.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture after the close of futures trading rated the U.S. spring wheat crop at 34 percent good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from a week ago and matching analyst expectations.

* Good-to-excellent ratings for the U.S. corn and soy crops also eased by 1 percentage point, to 64 percent and 61 percent respectively, matching expectations.

* Temperatures were likely to be hot and above-normal during the next six to 15 days in much of the Midwest and Plains, potentially stressing crops, the Commodity Weather Group said.

MARKET NEWS

* The U.S. dollar wallowed near a 10-month low against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday, pressured by uncertainty over the pace of the Federal Reserve's policy tightening while weak New Zealand inflation data knocked the kiwi currency.

* Oil prices were about 1 percent lower on Monday as investors continued to await strong indications that an OPEC-led effort to drain a glut was proving effective but output increases in some top producers eased, keeping losses in check.

* U.S. stocks closed little changed in low volume on Monday as gains in utilities and consumer stocks offset declines in healthcare, with earnings news filtering out winners and losers across the board.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

1230 U.S. Import, Export prices June 1255 U.S. Redbook weekly 1400 U.S. NAHB Housing Market Indx July 2000 U.S. Overall Net Capital Flow May

Grains prices at 0055 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 511.75 5.75 +1.14% +0.20% 495.24 56 CBOT corn 395.00 7.00 +1.80% +1.41% 396.73 56 CBOT soy 1011.00 13.50 +1.35% +0.95% 962.28 61 CBOT rice 11.85 $0.01 +0.04% +1.46% $11.71 65 WTI crude 46.05 $0.03 +0.07% -1.05% $45.08 57

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.148 $0.000 +0.03% +0.12% USD/AUD 0.7787 -0.001 -0.14% -0.52%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Richard Pullin)