VEGOILS-Palm oil firms on bargain buying, but coronavirus worries cap gains

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures opened higher on Wednesday on bargain-buying and a weaker ringgit, but concerns over sharp rises in coronavirus infections beyond China limited the gains.

The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained 25 ringgit, or 1.07%, to 2,464 ringgit ($581.82) in early trade, after declining 7% in the last two sessions.


FUNDAMENTALS

* The ringgit, palm's currency of trade, fell 0.12% against the dollar amid a political crisis in Malaysia, making the tropical oil cheaper for holders of foreign currency.

* The virus has pressured the market after sharp rises in infections in South Korea, Italy, Iran and the Middle East Gulf stoked fears of the outbreak growing into a pandemic.

* Dalian's most-active soyoil contract inched up 0.17%, while its palm oil contract fell 0.9%. Soyoil prices on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.3%.

* Palm oil is affected by price movements in related oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

* Palm oil may fall more into a range of 2,372-2,398 ringgit per tonne, as suggested by its wave pattern and a projection analysis, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.


MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares fell as a U.S. warning to Americans to prepare for the possibility of a coronavirus pandemic drove another Wall Street tumble and pushed yields on safe-haven Treasuries to record lows.


DATA/EVENTS

1500 US New Home Sales-Units Jan ($1 = 4.2350 ringgit) (Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)