VEGOILS-Palm oil ends higher on weak ringgit, stocks data eyed

Reuters

* Malaysia's August palm stocks seen at 1.73 mln T - Reuters poll

* Malaysia's August stocks, output data due next week

* Palm oil to fall to 2,352 ringgit - technicals

(Releads, updates throughout)

By Chew Yee Kiat

SINGAPORE, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures ended higher on

Thursday, erasing earlier losses as a weakening ringgit triggered buying

interest, although bearish sentiment persisted after a U.S. Department of

Agriculture report showed damage to soy crop was not worse than expected.

Tuesday's report helped ease some fears about dry weather damaging soy

yields in the U.S. crop belt, while investors were also cautious ahead of key

data due next week.

Palm oil tracks soy prices as it is a substitute for soybean oil.

But traders said a weaker ringgit attracted some buyers, as it makes

the feedstock cheaper. The local currency lost 0.7 percent of its value against

the greenback on Tuesday.

"We see some rebound in the afternoon trading session, and it's most

probably driven by the weaker ringgit. Overall, it still remains to be seen if

prices can sustain above the 2,400 ringgit level," said a trader with a foreign

commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.

The benchmark November contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives

Exchange edged up 0.5 percent higher to close at 2,410 ringgit ($730) per tonne,

after trading in a range of 2,385 to 2,418 ringgit.

Total traded volume was thin at 23,779 lots of 25 tonnes each, compared with

the average 35,000 lots, as most investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the

Sept. 1-10 export numbers and official data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board

(MPOB) due next week on August stocks and output.

Malaysia's August palm oil stocks likely grew to their largest level in

three months as output outweighed exports, a Reuters survey showed, although

healthy demand for the tropical oil kept stockpiles in check.

Technicals showed a bearish target at 2,352 ringgit per tonne remains

unchanged for Malaysian palm oil, as it has broken below support at 2,403

ringgit, according to Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

In other markets, global oil prices held above $115 a barrel on Thursday

after U.S. President Barack Obama won some support from lawmakers for a military

strike on Syria, adding to concerns that Middle East supply disruptions will

persist.

In vegetable oil markets, the U.S. soyoil contract for December fell

0.3 percent in late Asian trade. The most-active January soybean oil contract

on the Dalian Commodities Exchange eased 0.1 percent.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1007 GMT

Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume

MY PALM OIL SEP3 2400 +1.00 2390 2404 146

MY PALM OIL OCT3 2415 +13.00 2391 2419 1248

MY PALM OIL NOV3 2410 +12.00 2385 2418 12870

CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN4 5570 -10.00 5556 5620 363864

CHINA SOYOIL JAN4 7188 -8.00 7162 7228 540330

CBOT SOY OIL DEC3 43.80 -0.13 43.68 44.10 5809

NYMEX CRUDE OCT3 107.83 +0.59 107.13 108.04 14473

Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne

CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound

Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne

Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel

($1=3.30 Malaysian ringgit)

(Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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