Lean hog futures closed lower as prices for wholesale pork fell modestly for a second straight day and worries over Europe's debt crisis spilled over from stock and commodity markets. CME Dec hogs down 0.97c, or 1.1%, to 87.85c/lb. CME Feb hogs fell 1.02c, or 1.1%, to 91.15c/lb. DJIA down 126. Traders continue to remain somewhat wary of seasonal expansion in supplies as pork industry moves toward peak production for the year. Exports in recent months have supported historic run of record pork prices, including all-time high for month of October.
U.S. live cattle futures closed lower Tuesday on concerns over high beef and cattle prices, and worries about Europe's debt crisis. Cattle for October delivery fell 0.85 cent, or 0.7%, to $1.221 a pound in trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. December cattle traded lower by 0.9 cent, or 0.7%, to $1.2197 a pound. Feeder cattle for October fell 0.1% to $1.3965 a pound.
US wheat futures fell as rising US dollar pressured prices. Traders worried about weakening demand due the firm dollar and increased competition for export business from Australia and Russia. The countries have been undercutting US prices for grain on the global market. Additional pressure comes from worries EU leaders won't deliver a solution to the euro-zone debt crisis, traders say. CBOT December wheat droped 6 1/4c to $6.36 1/4 a bushel; KCBT December slipped 1 1/4c to $7.33 3/4; MGEX December shed 3/4c to $9.16 1/2.
US soybean futures ended lower, as traders trimmed risk amid signs that Europeans leaders aren't as close to a debt-crisis solution as they'd earlier claimed. Traders are cautious of risk in an uncertain macro environment, with rising US dollar and losses in equities adding pressure to keep many traders on the sidelines, says Terry Reilly, analyst with Citi in Chicago. Investors are concerned that any slowdown in global economies due to banking problems will slow down global trade. CBOT Jan soy ended down 1 1/2c at $12.33 ¾ a bushel.
Soy-product futures ended mixed, with soyoil falling as traders took profits on long soyoil/short soymeal spreads. Global economic uncertainty kept traders on edge, with the lack of conviction of traders in soybean futures encouraging traders to limit risk exposure, analysts say. CBOT December soymeal ended up 70c at $322.20/short ton while soyoil fell 0.29c to 51.50c/pound.
Gold futures settled at a one-month high as the precious metal returned to its role as a safe haven amid uncertainty over the upcoming European Union debt summit. Investors traditionally view gold as maintaining its value during times of financial turmoil, but for the past two months, the metal has risen and fallen in line with riskier assets such as stocks and commodities. Worries that a euro-zone member could default on its debt and create another global credit crunch have had investors selling gold to hold cash since September. The contract for October delivery rose $48.10, or 2.9%, to settle at $1,699.60 a troy ounce, its highest settlement since Sept. 22. The more actively traded December contract settled at $1,700.40.
Nymex crude oil futures settled at their highest levels in nearly three months on strong fund buying spurred by tightening U.S. oil inventories. Light, sweet crude oil for December delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled $1.90, or 2.1%, a barrel higher, at $93.17. That is the highest price since Aug. 2. The December contract settled at a 24-cent premium to the January contract, the largest spread between the two nearby contracts in three years. November-delivery heating oil settled 0.44 cent lower at $3.0502 a gallon. November reformulated gasoline blendstock settled 1.1 cents higher at $2.6998 a gallon.
Natural gas futures finished higher Tuesday, as traders shifted their focus to the onset of cooler weather and an expected increase in gas-fueled heating demand. Natural gas for November delivery settled up 5.4 cents, or 1.5%, to $3.658 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Stocks plunged Tuesday as the Dow lost 207 points to 11706. Nasdaq fared no better, losing 61 to 2638. The S&P fell to 1229, off 25.