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GRAINS-Wheat ticks up on short-covering, U.S. crop rating

SINGAPORE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat prices climbed for a second session on Wednesday, with short-covering by investors and a decline in the U.S. winter crop condition underpinning the market.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Wheat drew support from a weekly crop condition report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It rated 52 percent of the winter wheat crop in good-to-excellent condition, down from 54 percent the previous week, despite analyst expectations for no change.

* Commodity funds were net buyers of Chicago Board of Trade wheat and soyoil futures contracts on Tuesday and net sellers of corn, soymeal and soybean futures, traders said.

* Radioactive pollution in the Ural mountains caused some concerns, although scientists said there were no human or environmental risks.

* The meteorological service in Russia, the world's biggest wheat exporter, said it had measured pollution of a radioactive isotope at nearly 1,000 times normal levels in the Ural mountains.

* That marked the first official Russian data supporting reports that a nuclear incident had taken place in Russia or Kazakhstan in the last week of September.

* Wet corn is piling up in the U.S. Midwest, boosting premiums for dry grain and raising costs for exporters who already have been undercut in global markets by cheaper Argentine supplies, traders said on Tuesday.

* The slowest U.S. corn harvest in three years was beset by rains and cool weather during the past two months that prevented later-planted crops from drying naturally in the fields. Corn supplies going into the harvest were the largest since 1988 and space in on-farm storage and dryers is at a premium.

MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares scaled a fresh decade peak on Wednesday thanks to surging markets in Europe and America, as strong global growth and rising corporate profits lured hordes of investors into equities.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

1330 U.S. Durable goods Oct 1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1500 Euro zone Consumer confidence flash Nov

1900 U.S. Federal Reserve releases minutes from Oct.31-Nov.1 policy meeting.

Grains prices at 0139 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 425.00 0.25 +0.06% -0.53% 428.63 48 CBOT corn 344.25 -0.75 -0.22% +0.36% 346.73 50 CBOT soy 988.25 -0.75 -0.08% -0.23% 988.60 56 CBOT rice 12.31 -$0.03 -0.24% +0.20% $11.93 77 WTI crude 57.51 $0.68 +1.20% +2.53% $54.40 69

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.174 $0.000 +0.04% -0.47% USD/AUD 0.7576 0.003 +0.36% +0.15%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)