Cattle futures extended their highs on Thursday, building on the momentum of an active cash market earlier this week.
After a recent slowdown in the cash trade, sales between packers and feedyards took an upturn on Wednesday. Cattle sold for between $130 and $132 in southern states, with a few more sales at $133 further north.
That gave futures traders incentive to continue rallying prices to meet cash levels.
Higher pork export sales, which rose almost 50% above their 4-week average, had little impact on the futures trade though. Large hog supplies are giving packers the bargaining power to continue depressing prices on the cash market
April live cattle futures opened sharply higher, edging above $130 before closing up 170 at $129, the June contract gained 52 to $116, and April feeders fell 77 to $137.
June lean hog futures fell 127 to 68.67, and the July contract dropped 132 to 70.17.
Grain and soybean futures fell across the board on Thursday, reversing gains made overnight.
With traders starved of positive news, small overnight rallies that are promptly erased during day trading have become a pattern. But prices failed to find support on poor technical indicators and general pressure on the commodity sector. Wheat led the losses, plunging to multi-month lows. U.S. rain also pressured corn prices.
May Chicago wheat fell 12 ¾ to $4.06, May KC wheat fell 14 to $4.02, May corn fell 4 to $3.57, and May soybeans, meanwhile, fell 3 ½ to $9.46
With just two days left before the expiration of the May cotton contract Analysts are warning merchants not to hold out hope for lower prices with bullish speculators driving the market higher. May cotton gained 240 to 80.07, and the July contract gained 70 to 79.11
Oil futures stabilized Thursday after a steep drop in the prior session, with promises of further cuts from the world’s exporters countering fears of growing production coming from the U.S.
May crude fell 17 cents to $50.27 a barrel, Gasoline futures gained 1 cent to $1.67 a gallon, snapping a six-session losing streak, and Diesel futures closed unchanged at $1.58 a gallon, its fifth-straight losing session.
Natural gas futures fell to a one-week low after government data showed a larger-than-expected storage addition for last week. May Natural gas settled down 2.6 cents at $3.15.
On Wall Street, stocks rallied on Thursday, with the Nasdaq closing at a record, as a round of solid earnings led by American Express pushed equities higher. The Dow gained 174 to 20,578, the Nasdaq closed at 5,916, up 53, and the S&P 500 gained 17 to 2,355.