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GRAINS-Wheat falls but losses checked as adverse U.S. weather threatens crops

SYDNEY, Jan 4 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures edged lower on Thursday, retreating from a one-month high touched earlier in the week, though losses were checked by concerns that adverse weather across a key U.S. producing region will curtail production.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were down 0.5 percent to $4.34 a bushel by 0247 GMT after closing up 0.6 percent in the previous session.

* The most active soybeans futures fell 0.1 percent to $9.68 a bushel, having firmed 0.4 percent on Wednesday.

* The most active corn futures were unchanged at $3.53 a bushel, having closed down 0.1 percent in the previous session.

* Wheat draws support amid sub-zero temperatures across the U.S. Plains and as forecasts for continued dryness raised the prospect of a reduced harvest.

* The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday afternoon that winter wheat in Kansas, the state that is the biggest producer of the grain, was rated 37 percent good to excellent, down from 51 percent at the end of November.

* A year ago, the state's winter wheat crop was rated 44 percent good to excellent.

* Argentina's breadbasket province of Buenos Aires will remain mostly dry in the days ahead, meteorologists said on Tuesday, after reporting scant rain over the weekend.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar extended gains on Thursday after upbeat U.S. data and supportive minutes from the Federal's Reserve's latest policy meeting helped it shake off recent weakness.

* Oil prices on Thursday remained near levels last seen in late 2014/2015, with markets tightening amid tensions in Iran and due to ongoing OPEC-led production cuts.

* The S&P 500 index rose above 2,700 for the first time on Wednesday and other major indexes hit record closing highs as technology stocks climbed after signs of robust economic growth.

DATA (GMT)

0145 China Service sector PMI Dec 0850 France Final composite PMI Dec 0850 France Final service sector PMI Dec 0855 Germany Final composite PMI Dec 0855 Germany Final service sector PMI Dec 0900 Euro Zone Final Service sector PMI Dec 0900 Euro Zone Final composite PMI Dec 0930 U.K. Mortgage approvals Nov 0930 U.K. Service sector PMI Dec 1230 U.S. Companies' planned layoffs Dec 1315 U.S. ADP employment report Dec 1445 U.S. Final service sector PMI Dec 1445 U.S. Final manufacturing PMI Dec

Grains prices at 0247 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 434.00 -2.00 -0.46% +0.12% 427.30 69 CBOT corn 353.00 0.00 +0.00% -0.07% 352.22 66 CBOT soy 968.00 -0.75 -0.08% +0.34% 986.98 47 CBOT rice 11.61 -$0.04 -0.30% -1.40% $12.24 23 WTI crude 61.86 $0.23 +0.37% +2.47% $58.25 84

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.202 $0.000 +0.04% -0.33% USD/AUD 0.7830 0.000 -0.06% +0.01%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)