Lean hog futures also rose as investors appeared to cover short positions and square books from Wednesday, even as cash prices continued their fading trend. October lean hogs rose 17 to 87.22, December hogs rose 1 to 84.45.
U.S. live cattle futures rose Thursday as cash markets traded at steady prices and investors covered short positions. August Live Cattle rose 6 to $113, September Feeder cattle gained 7 to $131
US wheat futures rallied Thursday on fund-buying and short-covering. Traders who think the corn market's upside is limited are looking for opportunities in wheat instead. Sept wheat in Chicago ended up 8 to $7.57, Sept wheat in KC closed up 12 ¾ to $8.47 and MGE September wheat closed up 8 ¾ to $9.34.
US corn futures ended slightly higher Thursday on spillover strength from wheat and crop worries. Dec corn, which failed to set a new contract high for the first time in four days, ended up 1/2 to $7.43.
US soy futures settled mixed amid a lack of fresh supportive news and overhead resistance. Sep soybeans closed down 1/2 to $13.86, Sep soy oil closed down 18 to 55.60, while Sep soy meal closes up $1.00 to $368.00.
ICE cotton futures fall as worries about slowing economic growth curbs the demand outlook for the fiber. Dec contract fell 200 to $1.02, and near month October lost 203 to close at $102, as well.
Gold futures snapped their two-day sell-off, rising as traders viewed the market's steep declines as an opportunity to buy and as falling equities markets renewed investor demand for refuge assets. December gold rose $5.90 to $1,763.20, December silver gained $1.62 to close at $40.83.
Crude oil futures settled modestly higher Thursday, pulled up by gasoline futures, which soared more than 3% on fears that Hurricane Irene could disrupt supplies along the East Coast. October crude gained 14 cents to $85.30 a barrel, September gasoline gained 8.95 cents to $2.96 a gallon, and September distillates gained 2.48 cents to $2.98 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures edged higher Thursday after the Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. inventories rose in line with expectations last week and market participants weighed the impact Hurricane Irene may have on demand. September Natural gas gained a fraction to $3.93.
Despite climbing Bank of America shares, selling on Wall Street gained momentum as traders reacted to gloomy economic news, and worried about the impact of the looming hurricane that is forecast to slam the Eastern seaboard this weekend. The Dow fell 170 to close at 11,149, the Nasdaq closed at 2,419, down 48, and the S&P 500 lost 18 1/3 to close at 1,159.