Wires

GRAINS-Soybeans on course for biggest weekly gain in nearly 2 months

SYDNEY, Feb 14 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures edged lower on Friday, but the oilseed was poised for its biggest weekly gain in nearly two months amid expectations that China will soon step up its purchases of North American beans.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 1.5% for the week, set for their biggest weekly gain since Dec 20, 2019.

* The most active corn futures dropped 1% so far this week after posting gains of 0.6% last week.

* The most active wheat futures lost 2.5% for the week.

* Soybeans turned higher as traders considered that the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade agreement was due to go into effect 30 days after its Jan. 15 signing, potentially spurring export demand for U.S. agricultural products.

* Markets also shrugged off concerns that China may not fulfill its pledge to buy large amounts of U.S. soybeans, following the coronavirus epidemic with latest figures showing 116 deaths and 4,823 new cases of the flu-like virus in Hubei - the epicenter of the outbreak.

* Argentina's Rosario grains exchange on Wednesday raised its forecast of the country's corn crop to 50 million tonnes, from 49 million tonnes previously.

* The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange pegged the crop at 49 million tonnes, in its first corn crop estimate of the season.

MARKET NEWS

* The Japanese yen held on to gains against the dollar on Friday as renewed worries about the outbreak supported demand for safe-haven currencies and weighed on prices of riskier assets.

* Oil prices edged higher on Thursday as investors hoped the world's biggest producers would cut output more, while they largely shrugged off forecasts of slumping demand due to the coronavirus outbreak in top oil importer China.

* Wall Street lost ground on Thursday, backing away from record highs as investors digested new coronavirus developments and mixed corporate earnings.

(Reporting by Colin Packham, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)