Corn falls from 1-week high, set to finish week up 3%

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CANBERRA — U.S. corn futures fell on Friday, retreating from a one-week high hit in the previous session, though expectations of strong demand pushed the grain towards weekly gains of more than 3%.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.4% to $5.77-1/2 a bushel by 0255 GMT, having gained 3.4% in the previous session when prices hit a April 1 high of $5.83 a bushel.

* Corn up more than 3% for the week, the second straight weekly gain.

* The most active soybean futures up more than 0.5% for the week, the biggest weekly gain since March 5.

* The most active wheat futures up nearly 3% for the week, the biggest weekly gain since Feb 19.

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported ethanol stocks at the lowest since November and as rain forecast for much of the U.S. Midwest threatened planting.

* Export sales of 757,000 tonnes of old-crop corn were reported by the USDA, down 5% from the week prior but in line with trade estimates.

* Freezing temperatures across much of France this week may have caused severe damage to newly planted sugar beet, adding to the difficulties of a sector hit by crop disease and low prices in recent seasons.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar was headed for its worst week of the year on Friday as unexpectedly strong economic data in Europe, downbeat U.S. jobs figures and a determinedly accommodative Federal Reserve have prompted investors to unwind some bets on the greenback.

* Oil prices edged up in early Asian trade on Friday, supported by a weaker dollar, as investors weighed rising supplies and the impact on fuel demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Asian equities are set for a choppy trading session on Friday after technology stocks lifted the S&P 500 to a new record even as investors weighed an unexpected rise in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)