Market Recap: Cotton Plunges on Robust Supplies
Lean hog futures recovered some prior-day losses on Wednesday as investors were cheered by firm cash prices and supportive technical indicators. April hog futures rose 5 to 90.32, May hog futures rose 27 to 99.00.
U.S. live cattle futures continued their record-setting climb on Wednesday, prodded higher by surging beef prices and all-time high prices for cattle. February Live Cattle rose 45 to $129, March feeders fell 17 to $158.
US wheat futures climbed amid strength in corn and optimism about export demand. Analysts say wheat was supported by corn, which climbed in a correction of the corn/soybean spread. March wheat ended up 11 1/2 at $6.44 while March wheat in KC climbed 8 to $6.85.
US corn futures ended higher as traders unwind corn-soybean spread trades that had weighed on prices recently. March corn ended up 8 3/4 at $6.38.
US soybean futures ended higher Wednesday, managing to rebound from early losses as late gains in corn and wheat drag soybeans higher, Soy product futures bounce, garnering strength from a late session recovery in soybeans. March soybeans ended up 1 1/4 at $12.72, March soy oil ended up 16 at 54.22, and March soy meal ended up $1.10 to $331.30.
Benchmark cotton futures in New York fell to a more than eight-week low on Wednesday, as robust global supplies of the fiber and concerns over demand weighed on prices. March Cotton slid 268 to end at 88.57, the lowest settlement since December 27. The more-actively traded May contract fell 244 to 90.53
Gold's gains came in the final 30 minutes of trading, as the metal's steady push higher triggered automatic buying by traders who follow technical market indicators. February Gold rose $12.90 to $1,770 a ounce, Mar silver closed at $34.25, down 17.5 cents.
U.S. and European benchmark oil prices rose to fresh nine-month highs Wednesday amid rising tensions over what the West says is Iran's efforts to build a nuclear weapon. April crude gained just 3 cents, but that was enough to extend a rally into a fifth straight day and log a fresh nine-month high of $106.28 a barrel. Prices have gained $5.54 a barrel in the past five trading days. March gasoline gained 1.75 cents to $3.08 a gallon, and March distillates gained 3.31 cents to a 10-month high of $3.27 a gallon.
Natural gas futures finished higher Wednesday ahead of a government report that is expected to show a larger-than-average draw from natural gas inventories. March Natural gas gained 1.7 cents to $2.64.
On Wall Street, banks led stocks lower on Wednesday as the S&P 500 stalled near a 10-month-high after signs of weak European business activity rekindled concerns about a recession overseas. The Dow fell 27 to close at 12,938, the Nasdaq closed at 2,933, down 15 and the S&P 500 fell 4 to close at 1,357.