Cattle, Hogs End Higher on Monday

Lean-hog futures ended higher. The market surged in early trade and held on to gains later in the day, despite sharply lower wholesale pork prices. July lean hogs ended up 2 at $102, August lean hogs closed up 65 at 95.55.

US live-cattle futures ended higher, climbing amid support from feeder cattle and short-covering. August live cattle ended up 6 at $122, October live cattle gained 60 as well to $126, and August feeder cattle closed up 252 to $152.

U.S. corn futures settled lower Monday on an improved weather outlook for what could be a record U.S. harvest this autumn. Wheat futures fell on the decline in corn prices and concerns that recent price gains may have choked off export demand for U.S. wheat, and Soybean futures rose on worries about tight supplies after last year's drought and strong soybean demand from domestic processors.  September corn fell 9 1/4 to $5.36, September wheat in Chicago dropped 11 1/2 to $6.69, the September KC wheat contract fell 7 ½ to $7.01, and August soybeans gained 24 3/4 to $14.53.

Cotton futures eased in very thin trade Monday morning as rains in West Texas put a damper on the market. October cotton gained 22 to 85.35, and December new crop gained 2 to 85.10. 

Oil futures edged higher Monday, as traders weighed weak economic data out of China against the prospect of declining U.S. crude inventories. August crude gained 37 cents to $106.32 a barrel, August gasoline fell 1.46 cents to $3.10 a gallon, and August distillates gained a fraction to $3.02 a gallon. 

Natural gas futures declined Monday, as traders weighed weather forecasts that offered a mixed view of gas-fired demand. August Natural gas fell 4.9 cents to $3.59.

Gold futures rose to a three-week high on Monday as bearish investors cashed out ahead of testimony later this week from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The most actively traded contract, for August delivery, rose $5.90, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,283.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since June 21. Concern that an improving U.S. economy would push the Fed to withdraw its stimulus was a major factor behind gold's record 23% plunge in the three months ended in June.

Stocks drifted higher in light trading Monday, as investors weighed better-than-feared economic growth in China against disappointing retail sales in the U.S. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed almost 20 points to 15484. Nasdaq recorded a 7 point surge to close at 3607. The Standard & Poors 500 nudged up 2 finishing at 1682.


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