U.S. hog futures closed mostly higher Thursday on stronger-than-expected buying interest in the cash markets by some pork plants and rebounds in corn and live cattle futures. February lean hogs up 27 at 80.27 and April ended up 35 at 86.75.
Investors in live cattle covered short positions slowly Thursday, finally closing narrowly mixed, Feeder cattle futures were lower. Feb live cattle closed at $108 down 15, Jan feeder cattle was down 70 at $126.
U.S. wheat futures ended higher, rebounding from early losses as the market followed corn higher. March wheat in Chicago ended up 6 1/4 to $8.03, March wheat in KC closed up 8 3/4 at $8.86, and March MGE finished up 8 3/4 to $9.20.
U.S. corn futures ended higher, rebounding on a cut to the projected Argentina crop and end-user buying. March corn closed up 12 3/4 to $6.54.
U.S. soybean futures ended higher Thursday, rebounding from early session weakness on spillover support from corn and bullish underlying supply concerns, Soy product futures ended mixed. March soybeans gained 2 3/4 to $14.14, March soy oil ended up 43 at 57.26, and March soy meal traded up $2.00 at $385.30.
ICE cotton surged to a four-week high on continued supply concerns after India said it would keep its current export quota due to the delayed crop. March cotton closed limit up at $1.52, the May contract gained 396 to $1.47.
Gold futures fell to a two-month low Thursday as stronger-than-expected U.S. jobless figures dimmed the metal's allure as a refuge. January gold lost $23.70 to $1,346.50 an ounce, and Mar silver closed at $27.47, down $1.32.
Worries that China's economy is overheating and a surprise increase in U.S. oil inventories pushed oil futures below $89 a barrel Thursday. February crude fell $2 to $88.86 a barrel, February gasoline fell 5.87 cents to $2.42 a gallon, and February distillates gave up 3.62 cents to $2.62 a gallon.
Natural gas futures reached their highest closing price of the winter on Thursday after the U.S. government reported a larger-than-expected draw from supplies and forecasters said that the coldest weather of the winter may be yet to come. February Natural gas gained 13.4 cents to $4.69.
The blue chips on Thursday erased nearly all of an early selloff that was triggered by fears China’s economy is overheating, but tumbling network equipment stocks fueled the Nasdaq Composite’s second-straight slide. The Dow lost 2 to close at 11,822, the Nasdaq closed at 2,704, down 21, and the S&P 500 dropped 1 2/3 to close at 1,280.