Hog Futures Slip into End of the Month

Cattle futures trimmed gains into the close of the session Thursday, settling mixed while the front-month contract advanced to a fresh 1-week high on hopes that demand has passed a seasonal low.

August live-cattle futures picked up 30 to $145, October Cattle slipped 2 to $146, and August Feeder-cattle fell 25 to $211

Hog futures also ended mostly lower. August hog futures reversed gains from the start of the session to fall 16 to 76.97, after hitting a 2-week high the previous session. Most-active October hog futures shed 37 to 65.70.

Corn futures finished higher on Thursday, bolstered by better-than-expected export sales and some traders closing out bets near the end of the month. Soybeans also rose and wheat was mixed.

Corn was also supported by a relief from selling pressure that hit it earlier in the week as money managers who had bet its price would rise offloaded their contracts. Wheat oscillated between gains and losses and closed mostly lower.

September corn gained 5 1/2 at $3.73, August soybeans also gained on the USDA export report and settled up by 7 1/4 at $9.90, September Chicago wheat added 1/4 to $4.96, and September KC wheat fell 4 ¼ to $4.91.

Cotton futures slipped once again on Thursday on a stronger dollar and an export sales report that failed to impress.  October cotton fell 23 to 63.66, and December new crop fell 34 to 63.55.

Gold futures drummed a retreat on Thursday as some investors adjusted their outlook on U.S. interest rates while others sold precious metals amid pressure from a stronger dollar.  December gold fell $4.60 to $1,088.70, September silver closed at $14.69, down 4.7 cents.

Oil prices slipped Thursday, erasing early gains as the dollar strengthened.
Prices have dropped sharply in July as persistently high U.S. production, coupled with record output from other major suppliers like Saudi Arabia, met worries about slowing demand exacerbated by this month’s massive selloff in Chinese equities. September crude fell 27 cents to $48.52 a barrel, Gasoline futures settled up a fraction at $1.82 a gallon, and Diesel futures fell a fraction to $1.59 a gallon.

Natural-gas prices extended losses Thursday as traders looked ahead to expected lower demand. September nat gas fell 9.6 cents to $2.76.

Wall Street ended flat on Thursday as investors digested ho-hum corporate earnings and a report that showed that the economy picked up steam in the second quarter.  The Dow dropped 5 to close at 17,745, the Nasdaq closed at 5,128, up 17 and the S&P 500 closed unchanged at 2,108.

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.