Wires

GRAINS-Chicago soybean prices slip as U.S.-China tensions grow

P.J. Huffstutter

* U.S.-China talks shift to Shanghai this week

* Wheat underpinned by declining outlook for Russia's crop

* No deliveries against CBOT December wheat or corn contracts (Recasts with U.S. trading, adds quotes, updates prices, changes dateline from LONDON)

CHICAGO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures slipped on Friday with the market closely watching for updates on U.S.-China trade talks, and traders less than impressed with a jump in recent soybean export sales between the two countries.

Wheat and corn prices rose on global supply and weather questions on a light trading session scheduled to end early a day after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Concerns over U.S.-China trade tensions resurfaced after China rebuked President Donald Trump's decision to ratify a bill backing protesters in Hong Kong. China said on Thursday it would take "firm counter measures" if the United States continues to interfere in Hong Kong.

The heightened tension quelled any market buzz from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) weekly export sales on Friday, which reported the biggest volume of soybean exports sold to China in three weeks.

Private exporters sold nearly 1.7 million tonnes of soybeans during the week ending Nov. 21. The weekly U.S. soybean export sales were above analysts' estimates for 600,000 to 1.2 million tonnes. The USDA reported that China bought 831,200 tonnes last week, including 466,000 tonnes switched from unknown destinations.

The most active Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybean contract was down 0.26% at $8.79-3/4 a bushel at 1426 GMT.

Another drag on the agricultural commodity markets right now is waning investor interest in the sector, said Karl Setzer, commodity risk analyst for AgriVisor.

"We are seeing much more interest in the financials and currency markets," Setzer said. "Traders trade. They're moving to the stock market, and funds that have typically been in the agricultural markets are moving on.

"Traders are growing tired of hashing the same fundamental news over and over," Setzer said of the months-long uncertainty over a U.S.-China trade deal.

There were no deliveries against the CBOT's December wheat contract on first notice day on Friday, and no deliveries against the CBOT's December corn contract - both of which were in line with trader expectations.

Corn futures prices inched up, bolstered by heavy snowfall forecasts in the northwest U.S. corn belt in the coming days, and farmers expected to face very slow progress in harvesting an estimated 8 million remaining acres of crop.

The most active CBOT corn contract was up 0.8% at $3.67-1/4 a bushel.

The most active Chicago wheat futures contract rose 1.85% to $5.36-1/2 a bushel, underpinned by a reduction in estimates for output in top exporter Russia. (Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt in London and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by Richard Pullin and Bill Berkrot)