November soybeans were up 13 1/4 cents late in the overnight session. China futures were unchanged overnight, and palm oil futures in Malaysia closed up 0.9%. Early indications are that US equity markets will open with moderate gains today. The US Dollar is slightly weaker against most of the major currencies. A major credit ratings agency downgraded Italy's sovereign debt one level and maintained a negative outlook for that nation. Greece may be close to a deal with the IMF, EU and ECB to extend further bailout funds. German PPI during August was down 0.3%, weaker than expectated. A private survey of German economic sentiment during September was -43.3, higher than some forecasts. The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee begins a 2-day meeting this morning, which was extended by 1 day to allow for additional discussion of issues. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include August Housing Starts and Permits at 7:30 AM, and private surveys of store sales released during the session. The market saw solid gains overnight as a shift to more positive outside market forces plus supportive news for the weekly crop updates helped to support. The weekly Crop Progres report showed that 53% of the US soybean crop was rated good/excellent as of Sunday, compared to 56% last week and 63% last year. The steep decline was led by Minnesota, which was down 10% to 51% good to excellent from 87% last year. South Dakota also showed good to excellent ratings down by 10%. The data suggests that there was more damage to the crop for the freeze last week than previously believed. The Ministry of Commerce in China indicated that September import arrivals would reach 4.31 million tonnes, which is up from an earlier forecast of just 3.2 million. November soybeans closed sharply lower on the session yesterday but did manage to bounce about 10 cents off of the early lows into the close. The surge higher in the US dollar plus another sharp break in the US stock market helped spark a continuation of the selling trend seen late last week, and the speculative long liquidation selling drove November soybeans to its lowest level since August 12th. A collapse in energy markets and even weakness in gold had traders looking for more speculative selling in grains. Most markets reversed course overnight, and outside forces have turned positive. The COT reports on Friday showed a long liquidation selling by speculators trend for the week ending September 13th, and this added to the bearish tone yesterday. The western Corn Belt is expected to dry out, and harvest activity could pick up later in the week. Some traders see higher crush margins in China as a reason to suspect better demand from China over the near term. The American Soybean Association believes China's soybean imports will increase at least 5% next year due to growing demand from pig and poultry farmers. Weekly export inspections, released during the sesison yesterday, came in at 10.007 million bushels, which was within trade expectations. This compares with 27.6 million neeeded each week to reach the USDA projection. The slow export pace is a concern.