Lean-hog futures also recorded gains, helped by outside markets and a substantial jump in wholesale pork prices. February hog futures rose 1 to 87.62, April hog futures jumped 147 to 90.35.
U.S. live-cattle futures Wednesday shrugged off building caution over the strength of demand for cattle, recording gains tied to rising stock markets and a weaker dollar. February Live Cattle rose 85 to $125, January feeder cattle rose 32 to set a fresh record-settlement price of $155.
US wheat futures ended higher Wednesday, rallying to a more than four-month high for the second consecutive day on worries about freeze damage to European wheat and Russia curbing exports. March wheat in Chicago ended up 8 1/4 to $6.74, March wheat in KC ended up 7 at $7.22.
US corn futures ended higher, buoyed by spillover support from wheat futures. March corn ended up 3 at $6.42.
US soybean futures rallied Wednesday, continuing to retrace losses from earlier in the week, Soy product futures finished higher, rising in step with advances in soybeans. March soy ended up 16 1/4 at $6.15, March soy meal ended up $3.00 at $322.30, and March soy oil finished up 31 to 51.18.
ICE cotton futures give back most of the day's gains by the close, occurring without "a whole lot of physical activity to hold it up, according to traders. March cotton gained 14 to close at $93.39, and the May contract gained 28 to finish at $94.79.
Gold climbed the highest level in almost two months on Wednesday as investors sought the precious metal as an alternative to the slipping U.S. dollar after a batch of upbeat global economic data. April Gold rose $9.10 at $1,749.50 an ounce, Mar silver closed at $33.80, up 54.5 cents
Oil futures finished at their lowest level in more than a month Wednesday after the government said U.S. oil inventories rose more than expected last week, while demand for refined fuels sank. March crude dropped 87 cents, to $97.61 a barrel, March gasoline gained a fraction to $2.89 a gallon, and March distillates fell a fraction to $3.04 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures prices settled 4.8% lower Wednesday and were just pennies above 10-year lows amid expectations U.S. data will show a growing supply surplus. March nat gas fell 12 cents to $2.38.
Wall Street tacked on solid gains on the first trading day of the month after a round of solid economic reports from across the globe whetted traders' appetite for risky assets. The Dow gained 83 to close at 12,716, the Nasdaq closed at 2,848, up 34 and the S&P 500 gained 11 to close at 1,324.