Cotton Futures Inexplicably Continue to Post Gains

Cattle futures ended the trading session lower on Wednesday, pressured by profit-taking, as investors searched for fresh signs of demand.

April live-cattle futures slid 80 to $126, after climbing to a one-week high on Tuesday, June cattle declined 95 to $117. Feeder-cattle futures for April were down 27 at $146.

The hog market, meanwhile, got a boost from hopes for continued strength in U.S. exports of pork due, in part, to recent weakness in the U.S. dollar. June hogs advanced 165 to 79.47, and the July contract gained 135 to 80.20.

Grain futures dropped on Wednesday, as better U.S. weather forecasts improved the outlook for corn and wheat crops. Soybeans were mixed.

Wheat led the declines, weighed down by generous rainfall in key grain-growing regions, and forecasts for ongoing precipitation next week, Corn fell amid a drier outlook for the Midwest next week, which should aid spring planting progress after recent cool, rainy weather stymied farmers’ planting efforts.  And Soybeans were mixed, with nearby futures contracts bouncing back into positive territory after trading lower for much of the session on firm global demand

May Chicago Wheat fell 5 1/2 to $4.74, May KC wheat dropped 2 ¼ to $4.64, May corn shed 1 1/2 to $3.80, and May soybeans added 1 1/4 to $10.19.

Cotton futures continued their steady climb on Wednesday with the July contract gaining 32 to 64.15, and December new crop gaining 21 to 63.00.

Gold futures were little changed after Wednesday’s close, following a Federal Reserve statement that signaled officials will be slow to raise interest rates this year.  May gold gained $1.20 to $1.243.70, and May silver gained 7 cents to $17.19.

Oil prices set a new 2016 high Wednesday in volatile trading after Federal Reserve officials left interest rates unchanged, signaling less concern about risks posed to the U.S. economy by global financial conditions.

With oil prices surging to their highest level since early November, the market looked past a surprise jump in U.S. crude stockpiles in official weekly data from the U.S. Energy Department.  June crude gained $1.27 to $45.31, May gasoline gained 1 cent to $1.58, and May diesel gained 5 cents to $1.38.

Natural gas futures fell for a third straight trading session Wednesday as weather forecasts weakened hopes for late-season gas-fired heating demand and prices in the physical market slipped.  May nat gas closed unchanged at $2.03.

Stocks on Wall Street ended slightly higher on Wednesday after fears eased that the Federal Reserve would strongly signal it would raise interest rates in June, though a slump in Apple shares weighed on the Nasdaq index.  The Dow gained 51 to 18,041, the Nasdaq closed at 4,863, down 25 and the S&P 500 gained 3 to 2,095.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.