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GRAINS-Wheat prices firm after deep losses, rains aid drought-hit US winter crop

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SINGAPORE, March 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat prices rose on Tuesday, clawing back some ground from their biggest three-day decline since 2013 after rains brought relief to the parched U.S. winter wheat crop in the southern Plains. Corn ticked higher to end a four-session losing streak, while soybeans edged up following deep losses on Monday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract had risen 0.9 percent to $4.54-3/4 a bushel by 0058 GMT. The market has given up 7.8 percent in the last three sessions, the biggest 3-day decline since April, 2013.

* Corn was up 0.1 percent at $3.75-1/2 a bushel, having dropped 2 percent on Monday. Soybeans gained 0.2 percent to $10.25 a bushel, having fallen 2.6 percent in the last session.

* A winter storm brought beneficial rain and snow on Monday to portions of the southern U.S. Plains, where the region's hard red winter wheat crop has endured months of drought, an agricultural meteorologist said.

* The storm produced about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of liquid moisture across northern, central and eastern Kansas, the biggest U.S. wheat-growing state. It also hit Nebraska and northern Colorado.

* The region's hard red winter wheat is starting to emerge from dormancy and resume spring growth, a phase that ratchets up its need for moisture.

* After the market closed on Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rated 11 percent of the winter wheat in top state Kansas in good-to-excellent condition, down from 12 percent a week earlier. Wheat ratings also declined in Texas.

* Most of Ukraine's winter grain crops were in a good or satisfactory condition as of March 18, analyst UkrAgroConsult said on Monday.

* For corn, some analysts cited pressure from rains in crop areas of Argentina.

* Wheat from Australia was offered at the lowest price of $306 a tonne (c&f) in Iraq's tender to purchase a minimum 50,000 tonnes of hard milling wheat which closed on Monday.

* Active trading in CME Group's new cash-settled futures for Black Sea grain suggests the exchange may have found a way to tap into booming Black Sea export trade after an unsuccessful earlier foray in the region.

MARKET NEWS

* Oil prices slipped on Monday as Wall Street slid more than 1 percent and energy market investors remained wary of growing crude supply, although tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran gave prices some support.

* Asian shares fell on Tuesday as investors dumped high-flying U.S. technology stocks on fears of stiffer regulation as Facebook came under fire following reports it allowed improper access to user data.

Grains prices at 0058 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 454.75 4.00 +0.89% -5.01% 478.91 30 CBOT corn 375.50 0.50 +0.13% -2.91% 379.71 38 CBOT soy 1025.00 2.50 +0.24% -1.51% 1037.36 41 CBOT rice 12.30 $0.01 +0.08% -0.93% $12.40 50 WTI crude 62.16 $0.10 +0.16% -0.29% $61.59 56

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.234 -$0.002 -0.20% -0.40% USD/AUD 0.7704 -0.017 -2.20% -1.95%

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral Editing by Joseph Radford)