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GRAINS-Corn prices hit 8-day high as pace of U.S. harvest disappoints

SYDNEY, Oct 24 (Reuters) - U.S. corn prices edged up on Tuesday to mark their highest in eight days, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture saying the pace of harvesting was lagging market expectations.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.2 percent at $3.52 a bushel by 0112 GMT, after earlier touching their strongest since Oct. 16 at $3.52-1/4 a bushel. Corn gained 2 percent in the previous session.

* The most active soybean futures were up 0.1 percent at $9.81-1/2 a bushel. Prices firmed 0.2 percent on Monday after earlier in the session hitting their lowest since Oct. 12 at $9.75 a bushel.

* The most active wheat futures were up 0.2 percent at $4.37-3/4 a bushel, having closed up 2.8 percent on Monday.

* The USDA said 38 percent of the U.S. corn crop was harvested as of Sunday, behind analyst forecasts of 44 percent.

* The harvest of U.S. soybeans was 70 percent complete, ahead of analyst forecasts.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar edged down on Tuesday as attention turned to who would be the next head of the U.S. central bank.

* Oil prices were little changed on Monday as supply disruptions in Iraq dented exports by OPEC's second-largest producer and U.S. drilling rates showed a slowdown.

* U.S. stocks declined on Monday as each of the major Wall Street indexes retreated from a record, weighed down by a drop in technology and industrial shares.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0645 France Business climate Oct 0700 France Markit manufacturing PMI flash Oct 0730 Germany Markit manufacturing PMI flash Oct 0900 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI flash Oct 1345 U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI flash Oct

Grains prices at 0112 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 437.75 1.00 +0.23% +2.76% 442.47 54 CBOT corn 352.00 0.75 +0.21% +2.18% 350.76 59 CBOT soy 981.50 0.75 +0.08% +0.28% 972.68 53 CBOT rice 11.95 -$0.02 -0.21% -1.04% $12.21 41 WTI crude 51.94 $0.04 +0.08% +0.91% $50.90 62

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.176 $0.001 +0.10% -0.20% USD/AUD 0.7816 0.001 +0.14% -0.03%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney; Editing by Joseph Radford)