* Wheat holds onto most of 2-day gains amid weather risks
* Market weighs up cold damage in U.S. Plains, Midwest
* Soybeans ease as Argentina see rain relief next week
(Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline) PARIS/SINGAPORE, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures edged lower on Thursday, easing back from a one-month high struck a day earlier, as traders awaited a clearer picture on the impact of severe cold in U.S. wheat belts. Soybeans also fell slightly after gains earlier this week, with forecasts calling for rain next week in Argentina tempering recent concerns about dryness in the world's No. 3 exporter of the oilseed. Corn was almost unchanged. The wheat market has drawn support amid sub-zero temperatures across the U.S. Plains and as forecasts for continued dryness raised the prospect of a reduced harvest.
"The extreme cold snap in the U.S. also has the agricultural markets firmly in its grip," Commerzbank analysts said in a note, adding: "Obviously it is too early to draw any kind of final conclusion." Cold damage is difficult to quantify until crops emerge from their winter dormancy, while a warming in temperatures in the United States expected for the rest of the week was also easing immediate concern about crop losses. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade gave up 0.5 percent to $4.33-3/4 a bushel by 1230 GMT, after hitting its highest since Dec. 4 at $4.37 a bushel on Wednesday. Kansas hard red winter (HRW) wheat futures also ticked lower, after earlier extending gains to a new a six-week top as weather worries focused on HRW crops in U.S. Plains states like Kansas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday that winter wheat in Kansas was rated 37 percent good to excellent at the end of December, down from 51 percent a month earlier and before the height of the cold spell at the start of this week. However, traders said wheat may struggle to rally further without clearer evidence of crop losses given ample global supplies that have been swelled by a record Russian harvest. CBOT soybeans shed 0.3 percent to $9.65-3/4 a bushel, while corn inched down a quarter of a cent to $3.52-3/4 a bushel. Argentina's bread-basket province of Buenos Aires will remain mostly dry in the days ahead, meteorologists said on Tuesday. But weather forecasts called for showers from the middle of next week in Buenos Aires and other major crop regions. An easing in palm oil futures, which fell sharply after a one-month high a day earlier, also curbed support for soybeans.
Corn had already edged lower at Wednesday's close, after touching a two-month high of $3.54-3/4 during the session with spillover support from wheat and soybeans.
Prices at 1230 GMT
Last Chang Pct End Ytd Pct e Move 2017 Move CBOT wheat 433.75 -2.25 -0.52 427.00 1.58 CBOT corn 352.75 -0.25 -0.07 350.75 0.57 CBOT soy 965.75 -3.00 -0.31 961.75 0.42 Paris wheat Mar 160.00 0.00 0.00 159.00 0.63 Paris maize Mar 158.00 4.00 2.60 157.75 0.16 Paris rape Feb 355.00 -0.50 -0.14 347.75 2.08 WTI crude oil 61.84 0.21 0.34 60.42 2.35 Euro/dlr 1.21 0.01 0.42
Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy U.S. cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and Edmund Blair)