March soybeans traded slightly higher overnight but have come under pressure as of this writing. Corn and wheat have both moved into negative territory which has pushed soybeans well off their overnight highs. Malaysian palm oil futures climbed to a 5-week high on expectations for strong demand and as a monsoon resulted in flooding across key production regions. Chinese equities were generally lower during overnight trading, with the Shanghai A Share Index down 0.60%, as China's housing ministry was expected to keep property curbs in place during 2013. Japanese share prices remain fairly strong, with the Nikkei 225 reaching a new 21-month high due to the extended weakness of the Yen. European stock markets are posting mixed results this morning, with Italian shares up more than 0.50% as their election season swings into high gear. US fiscal cliff fears continue to impact sentiment in a number of markets. In US today, the markets will see Initial and Ongoing Jobless Claims, Consumer Confidence and a new home sales release. While the main focus might be on the Initial Claims headline figure, the most important result of the day might be the Consumer Confidence report, as that effectively kicks off the cycle of US reports for the month of December.
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