Hog futures climbed, following a jump in wholesale pork prices, which has fueled optimism that demand is steady for near-record expensive loins, bellies, and other cuts. July hogs advanced 262 to $128, the August contract gained 247 to $129
U.S. livestock futures ended the session sharply higher Thursday, rallying amid short-covering and a tight supply outlook after prices in the cattle and hog markets both dipped earlier this week.
June live-cattle jumped 210 to $148, August Feeder-cattle pared gains after closing limit up on Wednesday. August feeders gained 270 to $207.
Corn rose to the highest price in more than a week as investors bet an increase in ethanol production to a weekly record will cut U.S. stockpiles of the grain. Soybeans gained on signs of demand for U.S. supplies before the next harvest. Unknown buyers unexpectedly bought 140,000 metric tons of soybeans, the Department of Agriculture said in a report on Wednesday. Wheat futures rose as more rain is forecast through next week, further delaying harvest of winter varieties that were already hurt by months of dry weather.
July corn rose 9 to $4.50, July soybeans added 11 3/4 to $14.20, July Chicago wheat gained 6 1/2 cents to $5.93, and July KC wheat gained 1 ½ to $7.29.
Cotton prices retreated Thursday as investors booked profits from the market’s rally earlier this week. July cotton fell 105 to 90.10, and the October contract dropped 39 to 76.81.
Gold prices posted the biggest daily gain in nine months on Thursday, driven by investors who were caught flat-footed by the Federal Reserve’s outlook for continued low interest rates. August gold gained $41.40 to $1,314.10, July silver gained 87 cents to $20.64.
Oil prices climbed to a new nine-month high Thursday in a seventh straight session of gains after President Obama emphasized he wouldn’t send U.S. forces to Iraq. July crude gained 46 cents to$106.43 a barrel, July gasoline gained 2.73 cents to $3.12 a gallon, and July diesel gained 1.23 cents to $3.05.
Natural-gas prices fell Thursday after the release of a report showing a larger-than-expected increase to U.S. stockpiles last week. July Natural gas 7.5 cents to $4.58.
On Wall Street, S&P 500 ended at another record high on Thursday, extending gains for a fifth day on optimism that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low. The Dow gained 14 to 16,921, the Nasdaq closed at 4,359, down 3 and the S&P 500 gained 2 1/5 to close at 1,959.