eCBOT Close/Early Call

eCBOT grains futures closed firmer, but generally well off session highs, as crude oil eased back throughout the morning eroding earlier double digit gains.

Soybeans closed around 8c firmer, having hit highs of around 23c up in early trade. Wheat has closed around 10c firmer, having peaked around 20c higher. Corn closed with nominal gains of just a cent or so, 7c off session highs.

Palm oil in Malaysia closed up the exchange imposed limit on short-covering, which lent some support to soybean oil which closed over 120 points firmer.

Firmer Asian stock markets provided early support, as did initially higher crude oil. However, lingering worries over the health of the global economy pushed oil prices lower, as traders ignored advancing stock markets and focused on fears of slipping demand.

Light, sweet crude for December delivery traded as high as $69.19 before falling back. By noon in London it was down 43 cents at $67.38 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract settled at $67.81 on Friday, up $1.85 following a late-session surge on the back of a Wall Street rally.

Speculators may be wary about taking large positions this week, ahead of another round of interest rate cuts expected from the world's major central banks and Tuesday's US presidential election, which could set direction for the dollar and markets.

A US manufacturing survey due later today is expected to show sluggish activity extending into October, reinforcing views that the US economy is indeed in recession.

So we could be in for a volatile week on the exchange front after the dollar chalked up its biggest monthly gain in more than 17 years in October.

The USDA will release its weekly crop progress report after tonight's close. Last Monday the USDA reported US corn harvested was 39% complete and the soybean harvest at 76% complete.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn futures are expected to open 1 higher; soybeans 8 to 10 higher; wheat 7 to 10 higher.