Lean hogs closed mostly higher, lifted by technical factors including their wide discount to cash prices. August hogs gained 30 to 91.87, Most-active Oct closed up 32 at 75.95.
Live cattle futures gave up some gains to close mixed as traders took profits following Wednesday's sharp rally but also looked ahead to higher demand and tighter supplies. August live cattle closed down 42 to $121, Feeder cattle fell after a rise in corn futures, which portend higher feed costs. August feeders finished down 67 to $139.
At the livestock auction held Wednesday at North Wilkesboro and Norwood a total of 703 cattle and 16 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to 2.00 higher and feeder calves were mixed when compared to last week’s sales.
U.S. grain and soy futures jumped Thursday, as traders positioned themselves ahead of a government report expected to include reduced forecasts for the U.S. harvests of corn and soybeans. September corn gained 7 1/2 to $8.18. November soybeans rose 50 to $16.31. September wheat in Chicago rose 13 3/4 to $9.13, and September wheat in KC gained 11 ¼ to $9.15.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended mixed when compared to last report. Prices ranged $8.08-$8.91 at feed mills and $8.24-8.63 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 55 to 64 cents higher and were $17.44 at processors, and $16.45-$17.05 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat trended 14 cents higher. Prices were $7.89-$8.48 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $584.70 per ton for 48% protein.
Cotton ended nearly unchanged as the market anticipates the USDA's monthly supply/demand report, due this morning at 8:30 EDT. The prospect of tighter US supplies due to damage from dry weather, as well as less production out of India due to a delayed monsoon, is supporting prices. But slow consumption is still a concern. Near month October cotton gained 9 to $75.59, and new crop December fell 5 to $75.95.
Gold futures ended higher Thursday, buoyed by thin trading volumes and lingering hopes of more accommodation from central banks. December gold climbed $4.20 to $1,620.20 an ounce, and September silver closed at $28.09, up 2.2 cents
Crude-oil futures eked out the slimmest of gains in quiet trading Thursday, edging higher alongside equities after weekly jobless claims unexpectedly dropped.
September crude rose one cent to $93.36 a barrel, September gasoline rose 2.04 cents to $3.00 a gallon, and September distillates gained 2.91 cents to $3.04.
Natural-gas futures climbed Thursday, hitting $3 for the first time in a week, after a closely watched inventory report suggested better-than-expected demand for the fuel as summer temperatures raised demand for air conditioning. September Natural gas gained 1.2 cents to $2.94.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 extended its winning streak for a fifth day on Thursday, again notching only slight gains as lingering expectations for economic stimulus from central banks lent support to a market lacking new catalysts. The Dow lost 10 to close at 13,165, the Nasdaq closed at 3,018, up 7 and the S&P 500 gained a fraction to 1,402.