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GRAINS-Soybeans hit over 6-yr high as S.America weather, labour strikes stoke supply woes

SYDNEY, Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans hit a more than six-year high on Tuesday, as adverse weather and labour strikes in South America stoked fears about global supplies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.5% to $12.53-1/2 a bushel by 0300 GMT, hovering near their highest since June 2014 of $12.54 a bushel hit earlier in the session. Soybeans firmed 1.9% on Monday.

* The most active corn futures were up 0.2% to $4.40-3/4 a bushel, after gaining 0.6% in the previous session.

* The most active wheat futures were up 0.2% at $6.12-1/4 a bushel, after closing up 0.5% on Monday.

* Soybean export inspections topped 2.5 million tonnes for the week ending Dec. 17, up 3.1% from the prior week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* More than 100 cargo ships were kept from loading agricultural goods in Argentina on Monday, as a wage strike by grains inspectors and oilseed workers stretched into its second week, paralyzing exports from one of the world’s breadbaskets.

MARKET NEWS

* The dollar was firm but traded well below peaks hit on a wild ride higher overnight, as a new coronavirus strain in Britain sent jitters through holiday-thinned currency markets.

* Oil prices fell, extending sharp losses overnight, as the rapid spread of a new strain of the novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom prompted several countries to close their borders to British travellers and freight.

* Asian shares slipped, extending a pullback from multi-year highs hit last week on renewed fears a highly infectious new strain of COVID-19 that shut down much of Britain could lead to a slower global economic recovery.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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