Grain futures - Weekly outlook: March 4 - 8

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Investing.com - U.S. grain futures ended Friday's session mixed, with wheat prices moving further away from an eight-month low hit earlier in the week amid speculation lower prices will boost demand for U.S. supplies.

Meanwhile, corn prices edged higher amid indications of limited domestic supplies of the grain, while soy prices came under pressure from a round of profit-taking.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, wheat for May delivery rose 0.85% on Friday to settle the week at USD7.2038 a bushel. Earlier in the session, prices rose to USD7.2638 a bushel, the strongest level since February 22.

The May wheat contract was little changed on the week, after hitting an eight-month low of USD6.9812 a bushel on February 26.

Prices were higher as investors continued to close out bets that prices would fall further after futures moved into oversold territory.

Wheat traders also sought cheap valuations amid speculation lower prices will boost demand for U.S. supplies.

Wheat prices slumped to USD6.9812 a bushel on Tuesday, the weakest level since June 24 amid easing concerns over dry weather conditions in major wheat-growing states across the Great Plains-region, such as Kansas and Oklahoma.

Wheat traders have been closely monitoring weather and crop conditions in the area, where prolonged dryness threatens dormant winter wheat crops.

Elsewhere on the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for May delivery advanced 0.7% Friday to settle the week at USD7.0875 a bushel, the strongest level since February 11.

The May corn contract climbed 3.1% on the week, the first weekly gain in four weeks, as higher cash prices and limited domestic supplies of the grain lifted futures.

Some technical buying also boosted corn as market players noted that prices found significant support close to the USD6.87-level, triggering automatic buy orders amid bullish chart signals.

Meanwhile, soybeans for May delivery declined 0.6% Friday to settle at USD14.4450 a bushel by close of trade. The May soy contract was little changed on the week.

Soybean futures were lower as a round of profit-taking kicked in after updated weather forecasts predicted beneficial weather for crops in Argentina, the world's third-largest producer in the coming week.

Soy prices remained supported after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said U.S. farmers sold 120,000 metric tons of the oilseed to China for delivery in the 2013-14 marketing year.

China is the world's largest soybean consumer.

In the week ahead, corn and soybean traders will continue to pay close attention to weather forecasts for grain-growing regions in Brazil and Argentina, while wheat traders will monitor temperatures in the Great Plains-region.

Market players will also focus on the USDA's weekly exports data on Thursday.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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