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GRAINS-Wheat firms, gains capped as rains set to soak U.S. Plains

SYDNEY, March 22 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures edged higher on Thursday, rebounding from a one-month low touched in the previous session, though gains were checked as much-needed rains were set to aid parched crops across U.S. Plains.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.2 percent to $4.54-1/2 a bushel by 0111 GMT. Prices closed little changed on Wednesday, recovering from a low of $4.46-3/4 a bushel - the lowest since Feb. 22.

* The most active soybean futures rose 0.5 percent to $10.54-1/2 a bushel, having firmed 0.1 percent on Wednesday.

* The most active corn futures added 0.3 percent to $3.76 a bushel, having closed up 0.1 percent in the previous session.

* Wheat under pressure as weather forecasts call for further showers across the southern Plains, potentially boosting crops.

* Worries about the impact of a potential trade war on U.S. grain and soy exports hung over the market, capping rallies, as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to announce up to $60 billion in import duties on Chinese goods.

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture's attache in China put soybean imports in the 2018/19 season at 100 million tonnes, up from 97 million in 2017/18.

* The USDA said private exporters sold 138,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to South Korea, marking the third such sales announcement to various buyers in as many days.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar struggled against its peers on Thursday after the Federal Reserve maintained the view that it would raise interest rate three times in 2018 instead of the four that some currency bulls had hoped for.

* Oil prices rose on Thursday, lifted by a surprise draw on U.S. crude inventories as well as ongoing dollar weakness which makes oil cheaper in global markets and potentially spurs demand.

* U.S. stocks ended slightly lower on Wednesday, with major indexes giving up gains in choppy trade after the Federal Reserve raised U.S. interest rates, while a strong gain in the energy space helped limit losses.

Grains prices at 0111 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 454.50 1.00 +0.22% +0.33% 477.92 31 CBOT corn 376.00 1.00 +0.27% +0.40% 380.21 43 CBOT soy 1034.50 4.75 +0.46% +0.61% 1041.27 49 CBOT rice 12.32 $0.00 +0.00% +0.24% $12.37 53 WTI crude 65.33 $0.16 +0.25% +3.04% $61.81 77

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.237 $0.003 +0.24% +1.02% USD/AUD 0.7758 -0.001 -0.09% +0.99%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)