eCBOT Close/Early Call

End-of-the-week profit taking is likely to stall the corn, soybean, and wheat markets' short-term higher trends Friday, especially since crude oil is on a bearish path.

eCBOT grains closed lower, pressured by a stronger dollar, weak crude and pre-Christmas book-squaring.

Beans closed around 8c lower, with wheat off around 12c and corn 11-13c easier.

Crude is sharply lower again at $34.50/barrel.

The dollar is firmer across the board, advancing the most against the euro in almost two months, in a correction from recent steep losses in the wake of the Fed rate cut.

The dollar climbed 2.3 percent to $1.3910 versus the euro, from $1.4240 late yesterday, when it slumped to a 12-week low of $1.4719.

The greenback is also sharply higher against the pound at $1.4960, from a low of $1.5612 yesterday.

An important weekend weather-wise lies ahead, with US wheat crops under threat from freezing temperatures on the Plains, and corn and soybeans wilting in South America from soaring temperatures and lack of rain.

Fairly widespread showers are forecast in parts of Brazil and Argentina this weekend, which is adding to the bearish feel this afternoon.

The dry conditions are speeding harvesting of Argentina's drought-stressed wheat crop, which is now ahead of last year's pace.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn Down 9-11c,Soy Down 5-10,Wheat Down 10-12c.