eCBOT Close/Early Call

eCBOT grains closed lower on the overnight session Thursday, pressured by falling equities and weaker crude oil.

Beans close 18-19c lower, with wheat and corn down around 8c.

The Dow closed below 8000 for the first time in 5 1/2 years last night, and that weakness spilled over into the Asian and European markets this morning.

Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 6.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid 4.04 percent. At 11am GMT, Britain's FTSE 100 fell 2.19 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 2.63 percent, and France's CAC-40 fell 3.13 percent.

Wall St. looks set to open lower as investors find little relief from worries about the fate of Detroit's Big Three automakers.

US crude is bobbling around the $52/barrel level, whilst Brent has been within 30 cents of breaking the magical $50 mark.

If we can find time to squeeze some grain fundamentals then: Traders expect this afternoon's U.S. Agriculture Department weekly export sales report to show another week of lackluster trade in corn and wheat while soybean sales are likely to be relatively strong.

Dry weather in Argentina is also supportive with Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said it was concerned about dryness there.

Australia's 2008/09 wheat harvest is running more than two weeks behind normal in some parts of the country because of wet weather that might cut the quality of crops in the South East.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session are: Corn futures are expected to open 6 to 8 lower; soybeans 17 to 20 lower; wheat 6 to 8 lower.