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KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--Crude palm oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives ended higher Monday in holiday-shortened trade, as traders covered short positions in thin trade ahead of the Eid holidays.

Benchmark November CPO ended at MYR3,020 a metric ton, up 1.5% from Friday's settlement.

Investors also covered shorts after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last Friday that the economy should improve over time.

Trade participants expect palm oil to stay in a MYR2,990-MYR3,040/ton range when the market reopens Friday, a trading executive in Singapore said.

Fresh leads from CBOT over the next few days and August export estimates from cargo surveyor SGS (Malaysia) Bhd. later in the day could tip the scales either way, the executive said.

Worries about soybean and corn crop issues in the U.S. due to dry weather may keep inventories tight and spur a rally in international vegoil prices.

"The U.S. oilseed crop appears to be getting worse, and this may underpin palm oil," a commodities trader in Kuala Lumpur said.

BMD will be closed for Eid ul-Fitr holidays from midday Monday through Thursday. The market will reopen Sept. 2.

Traded volume on the BMD reached 5,629 lots, compared with 23,561 lots Friday. One lot equals 25 tons.

Open interest was 130,395 contracts compared with 127,529 contracts Friday.

Closing BMD CPO futures prices in MYR/ton at 1030 GMT:

Month Close Previous Change High Low
Sep'11 3,120 3,100 Up 20 3,151 3,094
Oct'11 3,047 3,016 Up 31 3,061 3,041
Nov'11 3,020 2,975 Up 45 3,024 3,006
Dec'11 2,998 2,970 Up 28 3,012 2,998
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