GRAINS-Wheat set for 3rd week of gains on vulnerable U.S., Russian crops

* Wheat up 1.4 pct this week, rises for 3rd consecutive week

* U.S. crop may face damage as frigid weather threatens crop

* Russian weather not yet harsh but crop exposed to lack of snow

(Adds details, quotes) SINGAPORE, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures eased on Friday, taking a breather following strong gains earlier this week, but were still set for a third positive week with cold weather threatening the U.S. crop. Soybeans bounced back, rising for four out of five sessions with investors focused on dry weather in Argentina, the world's third largest supplier, although improved forecasts have eased some of those concerns. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade is up 1.4 percent this week, taking the gains in the past three weeks to 3.5 percent. Soybeans are up nearly 1 percent for the week, the second straight weekly rally and corn is set to end the week little changed. Wheat is drawing support from fears that frigid temperatures across a key growing U.S. region threaten production.

Russian wheat is also exposed with lack of snow even though the weather is not crop-threatening. "Funds short on wheat and buyers do not have much coverage," said Ole Houe, an analyst with brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. "We have crop-threatening weather in the United States and even the Russian crop is vulnerable to damage because there is not much snow cover." Soybeans are being underpinned by dry weather in Argentina although an improved outlook is keeping a lid on prices. Drought in Argentina's bread basket province of Buenos Aires has raised the risk that some of the 18.1 million hectares expected to be sown with soy this season will go unplanted, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange and other analysts warned. With the planting season set to end over the weeks ahead, the exchange said 2.25 million hectares have yet to be sown.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, soybean and wheat contracts on Thursday. They were net buyers of soymeal and even in soyoil, traders said.

Grains prices at 0315 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 433.00 -1.00 -0.23% -0.12% 427.27 66 CBOT corn 351.00 0.00 +0.00% -0.64% 352.15 56 CBOT soy 971.50 3.75 +0.39% +0.70% 987.10 51 CBOT rice 11.72 $0.01 +0.09% -0.47% $12.25 30 WTI crude 61.93 -$0.08 -0.13% +0.49% $58.42 81


Euro/dlr $1.207 $0.000 +0.04% +0.50% USD/AUD 0.7851 -0.001 -0.15% +0.20%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin)