U.S. lean-hog futures surged Wednesday, rallying on solid demand, technical buying and short covering. October lean hogs ended up 112 to 89.12, setting a fresh contract high, the December contract gained 87 to 85.85.
Live-cattle futures were lower Wednesday, with the October contract falling to a one-month low. Feeder cattle were mixed Wednesday despite weaker corn prices. October live cattle ended down 2 to $126, September feeders were down 15 to $157.
U.S. soybean futures declined Wednesday in the largest one-day drop in six weeks, fueled by forecasts for increased rainfall in the northern Corn Belt–which could ease stress on some dry fields–and technical trading. Corn futures were pressured by the declines in soybeans. Wheat futures followed the declines in corn.
September soybeans fell 37 3/4 to $13.97, the biggest downward move for the spot contract since July 25, December corn slid 5 3/4 to $4.69, December wheat in Chicago dropped 1 to $6.46, December KC wheat also fell 1 to $6.98.
Cotton futures firmed Wednesday after a government report showed the condition of the U.S. crop worsened slightly last week. December Cotton gained 52 to 82.83, and near month October gained a fraction to 82.83.
Gold and other precious metals slumped on Wednesday on concern that an improving U.S. economy would cause the Federal Reserve to slow its bond-buying program. December gold fell $22 to $1,390, and December silver fell $1.07 to $23.35.
Oil futures declined Wednesday as Congress debated a military strike against Syria, pushing aside fears about crude supply disruptions in the Middle East. October crude fell $1.31 to $107.23 a barrel, October gasoline dropped a fraction to $2.86 a gallon, and October distillates fell 1.12 cents to $3.13 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures prices rebounded late Wednesday as forecasters increased the likelihood of a tropical cyclone forming near Puerto Rico in the coming days. October-delivery natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange perked up late to settle 1.7 cents higher, at $3.68
On Wall Street, stocks ended higher for a second day on Wednesday on strong auto sales and as a possible military action in Syria was seen as limited. The Dow gained 96 to 14,930, the Nasdaq closed at 3,649, up 36, and the S&P 500 gained 13 to 1,653