Lean-hog futures closed modestly higher, extending an ongoing rebound to a fourth straight session due to additional signs that beaten-down prices for hogs could soon stabilize. October hog futures rose 12 to 73.55, December hogs were near unchanged at 72.37
U.S. live-cattle futures faded slightly on Thursday as traders grew more concerned that an impressive run-up in cattle prices could undermine production levels at beef packers. October live cattle closed down 15 at $127, December cattle fell 35, to $130.
At the livestock auctions held Wednesday at North Wilkesboro and Norwood a total of 851 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $2.00 to $3.00 lower, feeder steers trended mixed, and feeder heifers were steady to $2.00 lower when compared to last week’s sales.
U.S. grain and soy futures rose Thursday, boosted by concerns about lower supplies in major growing regions. Soybean prices rose as traders focused on worries about whether South America will produce enough soy to meet robust global demand next year. Wheat climbed on signs of higher demand at a time when some wheat-producing regions are grappling with hot, dry weather. Corn prices rose with wheat leading grains higher on rising world wheat prices. November soybeans gained 1 1/2 to $17.47, December wheat in Chicago settled up 12 to $9.02, December wheat in KC ended up 10 1/4 to $9.22, and December Corn gained 4 1/4 to $7.73
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 4 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.54-$8.48 at feed mills and $7.58-7.99 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 2 cents higher and were $18.22 at processors, and $16.97-$17.52 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat trended 12 cents higher. Prices were $7.99 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $588.50 per ton for 48% protein.
After flip-flopping along with the dollar immediately following the FOMC statement, a weaker greenback ultimately sent cotton higher for the day.
December cotton gained 20 to73.53, and near month October gained 12 to 72.95.
Gold and silver climbed to six-month highs on Thursday, as the Federal Reserve's announced round of bond buying sparked a retreat in the U.S. dollar and demand for a hedge against potential inflation down the line. December gold rose $38.40 to $1,772.10 an ounce, and December silver fell 7 cents to $33.21.
Crude-oil futures jumped Thursday to their highest level in four months, as traders considered the combined effect of new economic stimulus by the Federal Reserve and continuing turmoil in the Middle East. October crude settled at $98.31 a barrel, October gasoline settled at $2.96 a gallon, down 3.94 cents, and October distillates settled at $3.21 a gallon, down a fraction.
Natural gas futures ended lower Thursday after a report showed U.S. gas inventories rose again to their highest level ever for this time of year. October Natural gas fell 2.6 cents to $3.03
On Wall Street, stocks and crude oil prices rose and the dollar weakened on Thursday as investors bet the Federal Reserve's fresh dose of monetary stimulus would improve economic growth. The Dow gained 206 to close at 12,539, the Nasdaq closed at 3,155, up 41 and the S&P 500 gained 23 to 1,459.