U.S. lean-hog futures fell Wednesday, ending lower amid growing supplies, demand concerns and weaker wholesale pork prices. October lean-hogs ended down 52 at 86.05, the December contract fell 40 to 83.15.
U.S. live-cattle futures ended higher, climbing amid tight supplies as traders await direction from the cash market. Friday's cattle-on-feed report, which showed lower-than-expected cattle placements, is underpinning the market, traders said. August live-cattle ended up 35 at $123, while October live-cattle closed up 2 at $126.
U.S. soybean futures settled narrowly higher Wednesday as the near-term prospects for stress on soy crops due to severe hot, dry weather this week offset the marginally improved forecasts for rainfall in the weeks to come.
Strong export demand for new-crop soybeans also kept prices supported. Corn futures settled mixed, rising in the spot contract, which is approaching its delivery period, due to the fact that cash market prices remain historically high. Wheat futures ended mixed, supported by strong export demand in recent weeks.
September soybeans rose 19 to $14.33, September corn picked up 4 1/2 to $5.04, September wheat in Chicago fell 4 1/4 to $6.46, and September KC wheat fell 1 to $7.06.
Cotton futures fell to a six-week low Wednesday as investors continued to liquidate bets that prices would rise after futures tumbled last week. December Cotton ended down 40 at 83.75, and near month October fell 49 to 84.01.
Gold prices inched lower on Wednesday as a stronger dollar damped investor appetite for the safe-haven asset despite mounting concerns about possible U.S. and allied military action against Syria. December gold fell $1.40 to $1,418.80, September silver closed at $24.38, down 27.1 cents
U.S. oil futures rose to a roughly two-year high Wednesday as fears over a potential military strike in Syria kept traders focused on potential supply disruptions in the crude-rich Middle Eastern region. October crude gained $1.09 higher to $110.10 a barrel, September gasoline gained 6.04 cents to $3.09 a gallon, and September distillates gained 4.74 cents to $3.20 a gallon.
September-delivery natural-gas futures expired higher Wednesday, but the looming end to a Midwest heat wave stunted gains in more actively traded contracts. September nat gas gained 3.3 cents to $3.56.
On Wall Street, stocks rose on Wednesday, rebounding after two days of losses as energy shares rose alongside another jump in crude prices. The Dow gained 48 to close at 14,824, the Nasdaq closed at 3,593, up 14 and the S&P 500 gained 4 to 1,634.