Bloomberg reports corn rose toward a record as U.S. crop conditions worsened. Asian stocks advanced for a third day amid speculation Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will hint at further stimulus at testimony before Congress today.
Corn climbed 0.9 percent to $7.80 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 10:46 a.m. in Tokyo, the highest price for a most-active contract since June 2011. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) increased 0.5 percent and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were 0.4 percent stronger. Oil in New York was up 0.3 percent at $88.67 a barrel for a fifth day of gains. The Japanese yen weakened against all 16 of its major peers and was down 0.3 percent against the euro.
Corn has risen 54 percent since June 15 as further evidence of damage from the worst U.S. drought in a generation stoked concern yields will drop, hurting output in the biggest exporter and lifting global food costs. Bernanke will deliver his semiannual report on the economy and monetary policy to lawmakers after a report yesterday showing an unexpected drop in U.S. retail sales kindled speculation the Fed will introduce additional steps to support the world’s largest economy.
“There is market positioning for Bernanke to deliver something today,” said Joseph Capurso, a strategist in Sydney at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s biggest lender. “There is a high risk of more policy easing before the end of this year.”
A third monthly drop in U.S. retail sales showed limited employment gains are taking a toll on the biggest part of the economy. The IMF lowered its 2013 forecast for global economic growth yesterday to 3.9 percent from 4.1 percent as Europe’s debt crisis prolongs Spain’s recession and slows expansions in emerging markets from China to India.
The last time corn conditions tumbled for six straight weeks was the period through Sept. 5, 2003, according to the USDA. The most-active corn contract hit an all-time high of $7.9925 during the food crisis in June 2008.
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