U.S. lean-hog futures fell Wednesday, with deferred contracts tumbling amid technical selling and expectations supplies are set to expand. Weakness in deferred contracts spread to the entire complex Wednesday, causing nearby contracts to erase early gains. The market's failure to make new highs early in the day prompted some technical selling, traders said. August lean-hogs ended down 32 to $100, while October lean-hogs fell 152 to 84.92.
Live-cattle futures ended mixed. Traders are awaiting direction from the cash-market. Futures, after falling to six-week lows last week, have since rebounded and are again trading in a range, analysts said. Feeder-cattle fell sharply. august live-cattle closed up 3 to $121, while October live-cattle settled unchanged at $124. August feeder cattle ended down 167 to $152.
U.S. wheat futures settled lower Wednesday, pressured by foreign buyers purchasing wheat from outside the U.S. and expectations for ample world supplies. Corn futures fell on continued favorable weather for U.S. crop growth. Cool temperatures have kept stress on crops low, even though dryness is a concern in some areas of the western Corn Belt. Soybeans were mixed, with nearby futures up on tight current supplies and deferred futures down on favorable crop weather.
September wheat in Chicago fell 7 to$6.43, September KC wheat fell 3 to $6.99, September corn futures fell 4 to $4.68, August soybeans rose 3 1/2 to $13.27.
Hot weather in China boosted cotton futures, which settled at a seven-week high. October cotton gained 271 to 88.53, and December new crop gained 71 to 86.40.
Gold futures carved out slight gains Wednesday as the dollar neared a seven-week low against a basket of currencies and as declines in equities prompted some traders to seek a haven. December gold gained $2.80, to $1,285.30, September silver closed at $19.50, down 1.8 cents
Oil futures fell for the fourth straight session Wednesday after a closely watched report showed a decline in crude inventories, but also revealed that fuel stocks rose against expectations. Gasoline futures tumbled to their lowest level in a month following the unexpected rise in stockpiles, extending a recent slide that could signal lower prices at the pump in the coming weeks.
September crude dropped 93 cents to $104.37 a barrel, September gasoline fell 4.40 cents to $2.87 a gallon, and September distillates fell 4.41 cents to $2.96 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures skidded to a fresh five-month low Wednesday, amid expectations of above-average increase in domestic gas inventories as cool weather damped demand for the fuel. September Natural gas fell 7.1 cents to $3.24.
On Wall Street, stocks lost ground for a third consecutive session on Wednesday on growing uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve may start to wind down its stimulus, which has been a driving force behind the rally in equities this year. The Dow fell 48 to 15,470, the Nasdaq closed at 3,654, down 11 and the S&P 500 fell 6 to 1,690.