By Jesse Newman

CHICAGO--Wheat futures rebounded Monday amid a bout of short covering while corn slipped and soybeans were mixed.

Wheat prices jumped after sliding in the previous session as speculative investors shed bets that prices would fall in the short term following federal data released on Friday that showed investors are holding a bigger-than-expected net-short position in that market. A report by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission last week showed hedge funds and others added more than 15,000 bearish wheat wagers and cut more than 6,000 bets that prices would rise for a net-short position of 123,387 contracts.

That is larger than analysts had anticipated, and likely caused someinvestors to exit bets on lower prices by buying futures, which boosted prices Monday. Wheat's move higher also was likely the result of month-end positioning by traders, analysts said, cautioning that gains in the market may not last given beneficial rains that are headed for parts of the Great Plains. Dry conditions in places like western Kansas have recently prompted worry over the prospects for some newly-planted winter wheat crops, though improving chances for showers in six to 10 days promises to relieve some stress.

Wheat futures for December rose 7 3/4 cents, or 1.9%, to $4.16 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Corn prices dipped amid month-end positioning by traders and forecasts for largely favorable Midwest weather which will allow farmers to continue harvesting crops in the Farm Belt. Analysts expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture this afternoon to show the nation's corn harvest is at least three-fourths complete,with harvest expected to be mostly wrapped up by the end of the week.

CBOT December corn futures shed 1/4 cent, or 0.1%, to $3.54 3/4 a bushel.

Soybean prices closed both higher and lower, with nearby futures contracts supported by ongoing evidence of strong demand for U.S. supplies of the crop. According to the USDA, 105.4 million bushels of the oilseeds were inspected for export last week, which is the second largest weekly amount on record, according to analysts. The majority of the soybeans were bound for China.

CBOT November soybeans added one cent, or 0.1%, to $10.02 1/4 a bushel. January-dated contracts edged lower while March-dated futures were flat.

Write to Jesse Newman at jesse.newman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 31, 2016 16:04 ET (20:04 GMT)

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