March soybeans were trading down 4 cents late in the overnight session. China futures closed up slightly overnight. Asian equity markets were mixed to lower overnight, with Australian equity markets apparently disappointed by steady interest rate policy from the RBA. European equities were weaker off slack corporate results and perhaps because of residual anxiety from the lack of a Greek debt deal. Economic news was somewhat negative with German December industrial output a disappointment to some economists. The US economic report slate is somewhat thin today with weekly chain store sales followed by a US Labor Department report on job openings and labor turnover for December. At mid day the markets will see a US debt auction of 3 Year notes, with a US Consumer Confidence reading due out late. At least to start it would seem like global equity markets are weak off Euro zone fears and the interest or lack of interest in the US Treasury auction at mid session might be seen as a key measure of sentiment today. A firm US dollar, weakness in metals and energy markets and a bearish tilt to equity markets may pressure grain markets early. The market may need to absorb some increased selling over the near-term as the overbought technical condition of the market, improving crop conditions in South America and continued sluggish exports from the US are all seen as negative forces. In addition, after the recent spurt in buying, weak crush margins in China might slow short-term import demand. March soybeans came within one cent of the January 3rd highs before closing near unchanged on the day and sharply down (11 cents) from the highs. This may leave the appearance of a double top. Continued talk of strong demand from China and others for US soybeans plus positioning ahead of the USDA supply/demand report for release on Thursday helped to support the solid gains into the mid-session. Ideas that the smaller South America crops will cause some increase in US demand has helped to provide speculative support even with improving weather and crop conditions in South America. While traders see a significant drop in Brazil and Argentina production and for world ending stocks for the USDA supply/demand reports on Thursday, US ending stocks are expected to come down by just a few million bushels from 275 million posted in the January report. Traders see Brazil production near 71.3 million tonnes from 74 million in the last USDA update. Argentina production is expected near 48 million tonnes, down from 50.5 million in January. Weekly export inspections came in at 37.2 million bushels which was near the high end of expectations. This compares with 17.1 million necessary each week to reach the USDA projection for the year. However, cumulative shipments are still just 59.4% of the USDA forecast for the season from 62.1% as the 5-year average. Cumulative sales are down 31% from last year. Gulf basis was a bit weaker and the northern Brazil harvest is progressing rapidly.