GRAINS-Wheat eases from seven-week high ahead of data rush

* Wheat dips after climbing 1.7 percent on Wednesday

* Corn, soybeans give up gains as harvest pressure looms

(Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures edged down on Thursday from a seven-week high hit in the previous session as investors braced for a series of data releases including estimates of U.S. wheat production and grain stocks. Corn and soybeans also fell, with prices capped by signs of harvest progress in the United States. The Chicago Board Of Trade most-active wheat contract was down 0.3 percent at $4.60 a bushel by 1018 GMT. It closed up 1.7 percent on Wednesday, when prices hit $4.62-3/4 a bushel - the highest since Aug. 8. Strength in international wheat prices has been attributed to a combination of reluctant selling by farmers, uncertainty over harvest prospects in Argentina and Australia, and short-covering by investors. "Investors still have a hefty short position that probably has a fading rationale that offers an immediate source of buying," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "Sellers can afford to be more patient. Any slowing in exports due to higher prices would not be broadly apparent to the market for at least another fortnight." Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday, traders said, and were net sellers of soyoil futures. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to issue the small grains report at 1600 GMT on Friday and analysts expect the government to lower its estimate of U.S. 2017 wheat production. Dry conditions for soft wheat sowing in the U.S. Midwest has also lent some support to wheat although signs of rain relief for parched Australian wheat belts could ease concern. "Forecast rainfall in eastern Australia should help to stall the downward spiral of wheat and rapeseed yields," Thomson Reuters Agriculture Research analysts said in a daily note. CBOT soybeans were down 0.7 percent at $9.58-3/4 a bushel and corn fell 0.4 percent to $3.52-1/2 a bushel. Analysts expect the USDA to report U.S. corn stocks as of Sept. 1 at 2.353 billion bushels, which would be the largest since 1988. Soybeans are under pressure as a spell of unseasonably hot weather over the last week most likely helped advance crop maturity, easing fears of harvest delays. Traders were also assessing planting prospects in South America. Argentine farmers are expected to harvest 54 million tonnes of soy in the 2017-18 season, down from 57.5 million tonnes in 2016-17, as growers expand wheat and corn sowing, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Wednesday.. Grain markets will also get fresh supply-and-demand indications on Thursday from monthly global forecasts from the International Grains Council. Weekly U.S. export sales data at 1230 GMT will give further clues about demand for U.S. crops following brisk recent exports of soybeans.

Prices at 1018 GMT

Last Change Pct End Ytd Pct Move 2016 Move CBOT wheat 460.00 -1.50 -0.33 408.00 12.75 CBOT corn 352.50 -1.50 -0.42 352.00 0.14 CBOT soy 958.75 -6.75 -0.70 1004.00 -4.51 Paris wheat Dec 167.00 0.00 0.00 175.00 -4.57 Paris maize Nov 155.50 -0.75 -0.48 170.00 -8.53 Paris rape Nov 370.00 -1.50 -0.40 383.25 -3.46 WTI crude oil 52.68 0.54 1.04 53.72 -1.94 Euro/dlr 1.18 0.00 0.24

Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris; editing by Subhranshu Sahu and David Clarke)