Cattle futures rose to a four-week high, changing course as cash-market prices steadied. The trade so far suggested cash prices would continue stabilizing after weeks of losses pressured the broader cattle futures market. Cattle futures initially fell before rebounding. October live cattle rose 127 to $107, the December contract gained 130 to $112, and September feeders gained 62 to $148.
Hog futures, meanwhile, also rose after falling sharply at the opening on Wednesday. Analysts said prices had broken through technical support indicators after falling on Tuesday. But lower prices found renewed buying interest, and October lean hogs eventually closed 12 higher at 59.57, and December fell 32 to 56.77.
Grain and soybean futures were mixed on Wednesday, recovering from losses following unexpectedly large U.S. harvest estimates earlier this week.
Prices had been under pressure on Tuesday after USDA raised the forecasted corn and soybean yields, setting farmers up for a bumper harvest. Those were higher than its previous estimates, surprising analysts who expected the agency to reduce its figures. Grain and oilseed markets rebounded on Wednesday, however, after higher crude oil prices helped spark buying interest in the commodity sector.
November soybeans rose 8 ¾ to $9.60, December Chicago wheat rose 1 ¼ to $4.43, December KC wheat gained 2 ½ to $4.44, and December corn gave back overnight gains to close unchanged at $3.51.
Cotton edged lower Wednesday, after hitting limit down a day earlier, as the market remained uncertain about the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on U.S. cotton production. Hurricane Harvey struck Texas Aug. 25, wreaking havoc on the crop in the nation’s largest cotton-producing state. Over the weekend, Hurricane Irma hit Florida, another cotton-growing state. Yet the USDA raised its estimate for U.S. cotton production in its crop report released Tuesday. The forecast was higher than all estimates by analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal.
Nevertheless, the USDA said late Tuesday that the estimates didn’t take into account the hurricanes’ impact and it would assess those effects on cotton and incorporate any possible changes in its upcoming October crop report.
December Cotton fell 2 to settle at 69.09.
Oil futures rose to a one-month high Wednesday, supported by a record drop in gasoline inventories and signs that market supply and demand are coming back into balance.
October crude gained $1.07 to $49.30 a barrel, Gasoline futures fell 1 cent to $1.64 a gallon and diesel futures rose 3 cents to $1.76 a gallon.
Natural gas prices rose for the third day in a row on Wednesday, boosted by expectations for an uptick in demand from warmer weather forecasts.
October nat gas gained 5.7 cents to $3.05
Stocks on Wall Street edged up to a record high on Wednesday as gains in consumer discretionary and energy stocks offset losses in technology heavyweight Apple Inc. The Dow gained 39 to 22,158, the Nasdaq closed at 6,460, up 6, and the S&P 500 gained almost 2 to 2,498.