U.S. lean hog futures ended higher Thursday, climbing on spillover strength from cattle and other commodities, as well as signs that pork prices could be rebounding. April lean hogs for ended up 35 to 83.52, the May contract gained 60 to close at 93.12
U.S. live cattle futures rallied Thursday, closing at two-week highs on strength in the cash market and short-covering. April live cattle closed up 287 at $121, April feeder cattle gained 25 to $151.
US soy and grain futures closed higher, supported by outside markets as a variety of asset classes rally sharply amid a weaker dollar. May soybeans closed at a fresh 7-month high as it was also boosted by optimism about Chinese demand for US product. May soybeans closed up 19 at $14.41, helping push May soy meal $7.80 higher to $394.60 and May soy oil 78 to 57.23. As May corn edged higher by 1 ½ to 6.37, May wheat at the Board climbed 11 1/4 to $6.39 and May wheat in KC rose 9 to $6.53.
Cotton futures posted gains for the second consecutive session as investors and funds roll from May contract into July, and merchants cover short positions. May cotton gained 162 to 93.00, and the July contract gained 150 to 89.80.
Gold futures climbed Thursday on expectations that demand for the metal as an alternative asset would hold up after Federal Reserve officials voiced support for the central bank's accommodative monetary policies. June gold rose $20.30 to $1,680.60, and May silver closed at $32.52, up $1.00.
Oil futures finished higher Thursday as equities rallied, despite a closely watched report from an energy watchdog saying that the crude-oil market is amply supplied. May crude gained 94 cents to $103.64 a barrel, May gasoline jumped 6.12 cents to $3.35 a gallon, and May distillates gained 5.14 cents to $3.16 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures ended below $2 for the second day in a row, after the market gave back a brief 4.3% rally on the latest government data on stored-gas inventories. May nat gas fell a fraction to $1.98.
U.S. stocks rose more than 1 percent on Thursday as lower Italian bond yields eased some euro-zone concerns and rumors about China's strong
GDP growth bolstered investors' appetite for risk. The Dow gained 181 to close at 12,986, the Nasdaq closed at 3,055, up 39 and the S&P 500 gained 18 to close at 1,387.