GRAINS-Soybeans edge higher as traders hope for U.S.-China trade deal

SYDNEY, Feb 19 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures edged higher on Tuesday as optimism grew about a trade deal between Washington and Beijing ahead of a visit to the U.S. capital by China's vice premier.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.3 percent to $9.10-1/2 a bushel by 0129 GMT, having firmed 0.4 percent on Friday. The market was closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

* The most active corn futures were up 0.3 percent to $3.75-3/4, having closed unchanged in the previous session. The most active wheat futures were little changed at $5.04-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.5 percent on Friday when prices hit a low of $4.99-1/4 a bushel - the lowest since Oct 31, 2018.

* Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit Washington on Thursday and Friday to continue trade negotiations with the United States, the Commerce Ministry in Beijing said.

* The U.S. soybean crush in January was the fourth largest for any month on record and the biggest ever for the first month of the year, topping most trade estimates, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Friday.

* Algeria's state grains agency last week bought 600,000 tonnes of milling wheat at a tender at around $247 to $247.50 per tonne, cost and freight included, European traders said. That was about $15 per tonne cheaper than an Algerian purchase in early January.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar held steady against its peers on Tuesday, lacking strong direction as U.S. markets were shut for a holiday the previous day, while the euro's latest bounce slowed as the focus drifted back to the economy and European Central Bank policy.

* U.S. oil prices hit a three-month high on Tuesday, buoyed by production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

* Wall Street rallied on Friday, with the Dow and the Nasdaq posting their eighth consecutive weekly gains as investors grew hopeful that the United States and China would hammer out an agreement resolving their protracted trade war.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 0930 Britain Unemployment Claimant Count Jan 0930 Britain Employment Change Dec 0930 Britain Average Wk Earnings 3M YY Dec 1000 Germany ZEW Economic Sentiment Feb 1000 Germany ZEW Current Conditions Feb 1300 Russia Unemployment Rate Jan 1500 U.S. NAHB Housing Market Index Feb ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos participates in a panel session at the 2019 European Parliamentary Week in Brussels.

Grains prices at 0129 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 504.75 0.50 +0.10% -0.44% 517.51 30 CBOT corn 375.75 1.00 +0.27% +0.27% 377.93 44 CBOT soy 910.50 3.00 +0.33% +0.77% 913.67 47 CBOT rice 10.09 $0.00 +0.00% -0.93% $10.55 14 WTI crude 55.72 $0.13 +0.23% +2.41% $52.97 71

Currencies

Euro/dlr $1.130 $0.000 -0.04% +0.09% USD/AUD 0.7122 -0.001 -0.11% -0.24%

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

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)