GRAINS-Corn prices edge down, but stay near 2-week high

SYDNEY, Jan 18 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures inched down for the first time in three sessions on Thursday, though prices remained near a two-week high that was hit the previous day after a bout of short-covering.


* The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.1 percent at $3.52-1/2 a bushel by 0148 GMT. They gained 1.4 percent in the previous session, during which they touched their highest since Jan. 4 at $3.53-1/4 a bushel.

* The most active soybean futures were little changed at $9.68-1/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.1 percent on Wednesday.

* The most active wheat futures were up 0.2 percent at $4.22-1/2 a bushel, after closing up 1.2 percent on Wednesday.

* Corn had been under sustained pressure after the U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report last week showed massive stocks and a bigger-than-expected U.S. harvest. But failure to extend those losses since then prompted speculation that a near-term low had been achieved.

* Forecasts of heavy rainfall during Brazil's soy harvesting are unlikely to discourage farmers from planting winter corn, producers said during an annual crop tour.


* The euro nursed losses on Thursday, having pulled back from a three-year high as concerns voiced by European Central Bank officials this week dampened the currency's momentum.

* Oil prices inched up on Thursday on a reported decline in U.S. crude inventories, but prices stayed below recent three-year highs as fuel supplies remain ample and as refineries scale back operations.

* U.S. stocks jumped on Wednesday and the Dow closed above 26,000 for the first time as investors' expectations for higher earnings lifted stocks across sectors.


0130 China House prices Dec 0700 China GDP Q4 0700 China Industrial output Dec 0700 China Retail sales Dec 0700 China Urban investment Dec 1330 U.S. Housing starts Dec 1330 U.S. Building permits Dec 1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1330 U.S. Philly Fed business index Jan

Grains prices at 0148 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 422.50 1.00 +0.24% +1.44% 424.63 45 CBOT corn 352.50 -0.50 -0.14% +1.22% 350.38 59 CBOT soy 968.25 -0.50 -0.05% +0.03% 974.45 60 CBOT rice 12.21 $0.05 +0.45% +0.49% $12.05 73 WTI crude 64.15 $0.18 +0.28% +0.66% $59.89 78


Euro/dlr $1.219 $0.000 +0.01% -0.60% USD/AUD 0.7955 -0.001 -0.18% -0.06%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)