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GRAINS-Wheat edges lower, losses checked by concerns for U.S. crop

SYDNEY, Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat fell on Thursday, edging lower after posting gains of more than 1 percent in the previous session, although losses were checked by concerns that unfavourable weather across the United States may damage crops.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.1 percent at $4.27-3/4 a bushel by 0232 GMT, having closed up 1.4 percent on Wednesday.

* The most active soybean futures were down 0.2 percent to $9.65-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.3 percent on Wednesday.

* The most active corn futures fell 0.1 percent to $3.53-3/4, having gained 0.3 percent in the previous session.

* Bitterly cold temperatures in the U.S. Plains threatened to damage dormant winter wheat plants, further supporting wheat prices.

* Trading volumes remained light ahead of Monday's New Year's Day holiday, leaving prices vulnerable to increased volatility due to a relative lack of liquidity.

* Investment funds were holding a near record-large net short position in U.S. wheat futures and had sizable net shorts in corn and soybeans, according to regulatory data released last week.

* An explosion at a port operated by Chinese export company COFCO in Argentina's Rosario grains hub killed one person and injured others, local authorities said. It was unclear how the incident would impact operations at the port.

DATA (GMT)

1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1445 U.S. Chicago purchasing management index Dec

Grains prices at 0232 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 427.75 -0.25 -0.06% +1.30% 428.51 69 CBOT corn 353.25 -0.50 -0.14% +0.14% 352.55 76 CBOT soy 965.75 -1.75 -0.18% -0.57% 991.07 35 CBOT rice 11.79 $0.00 +0.00% -1.34% $12.10 41 WTI crude 59.78 $0.14 +0.23% -0.32% $57.54 74

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.190 $0.002 +0.13% +0.37% USD/AUD 0.7780 0.001 +0.17% +0.69%

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

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar was on the defensive on Thursday, facing headwinds from a dip in U.S. 10-year bond yields, while commodity-linked currencies were bolstered by this week's rally in metal and oil prices.

* Oil prices were stable on Thursday with trading activity drying up ahead of the New Year weekend.

* U.S. stocks eked out a gain on Wednesday, as advances in some major technology stocks offset losses in energy and helped keep major indexes just above the unchanged mark.

DATA (GMT)

1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1445 U.S. Chicago purchasing management index Dec

(Reporting by Colin Packham)