Market Recap: Grains & Oilseeds Gain on Weather Worries
Lean-hog futures slid narrowly, pressured by technical trading. February hogs fell 5 cent to 86.62,
U.S. cattle futures extended their rally to a third consecutive session of record highs for any front-month contract, lifted by the tight supply of slaughter-ready cattle that has fueled rallies in the cash and wholesale-beef markets, and by extreme winter weather conditions across major feeding regions. February live cattle picked up 52 to $136, Cattle for April advanced 35 cent to $136. Feeder-cattle futures for January rose 4 to $168.
Corn futures gained on speculation cold weather will increase demand from livestock feeders. Soybeans also rose while wheat erased gains and settled unchanged. March Corn futures gained 4 1/4 to $4.27.
January Soybeans gained 7 1/2 to $12.96 on speculation that drier weather forecast in parts of Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter of the oilseeds, will curb yields.
Chicago wheat settled unchanged after earlier rising on speculation that some winter varieties will be damaged by extremely cold temperatures in the U.S. March Chicago wheat was unchanged at $6.05, March KC wheat gained 1 ½ to $6.44.
China Cotton Association on Saturday reported that China had stockpiled 5.01 million metric tons of cotton in the year up to last Friday. What exactly China plans to do with all those stockpiles is the question, and keeping American cotton futures range bound for weeks. March cotton gained 6 to 83.63, the May contract also gained 6 to 83.61. A large trade roiled the gold futures market on Monday, briefly slashing more than $30 from the gold price and puzzling traders, but recovering near all losses to close near unchanged. January gold fell 10 cents to $1,238.20, and January silver fell a little more than a dime to $20.07.
U.S. oil futures fell to a more than one-month low Monday as traders worried government data will show domestic crude inventories increased for the first time in six weeks on weak demand for petroleum products. February crude delivery fell 53 cents to $93.43 a barrel, February gasoline lost a fraction to $2.64 a gallon, and February distillates also lost a fraction to $2.93 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures prices ended little changed Monday as forecasters said the deep-freeze gripping the eastern two-thirds of the nation is in its final days. Natural gas for February delivery settled 0.2 cent higher, at $4.30.
On Wall Street, stocks slipped on Monday after a mixed batch of economic reports, which showed a slowdown in growth in the U.S. services sector and a rebound in new orders for factory goods. The Dow fell 44 to 16,425, the Nasdaq closed at 4,113, down 18 and the S&P 500 fell 4 to 1,826.