Cattle and hog futures both resisted strong forces in outside markets, including lower stocks and a higher US dollar, as traders grew more confident that higher pork and beef demand lurks in coming weeks. June cattle gained 82 to $116 and other contracts were also higher. August feeders gained 12 to close at $158.
Lean hog futures were all higher except thinly traded May. An uptick in wholesale pork prices, combined with a recent slump in futures, prods some investors to cover short positions. Growing number of traders wager pork prices bottomed for the spring in mid-April. June hogs gained 55 to 84.84, and the July contract gained 67 to close at 84.85.
US grain and soy futures ended lower as traders exited positions to reduce risk ahead of a key USDA report later this morning while outside markets added pressure. Corn leads the losses at the CBOT as traders expect the data to project large domestic inventories for the end of the next marketing year. July corn fell 15 3/4 to $6.07 while May wheat in Chicago slid 15 to $6 and May wheat in KC fell 17 to $6.08. July soybeans fell 8 to $14.30 with July soy meal dropping $1.30 to $416 and July soy oil falling 45 to 52.82
Cotton futures edged down to the first settlement below 86c/lb. this year as a stronger dollar and outside markets pressured prices. July cotton fell 49 to 85.69, a level not seen since December, as the market continues sliding ahead of today’s WASDE report. The October contract lost 72 to close at 85.66.
Worries about political and economic turmoil in the euro zone Wednesday pushed gold futures to their lowest settlement price of 2012, as investor demand for the perceived safety of the U.S. dollar limited the appeal of precious metals. June gold fell $10.30 to t $1,594.20, Jul silver closed at $29.24; down 21.8 cents
U.S. crude futures edged lower Wednesday, recovering from much steeper losses earlier in the day, in the wake of a mixed report on oil inventories from the Energy Information Administration.
June crude fell 20 cents to $96.81 a barrel, June gasoline gained 2.97 cents to $3.02 a gallon, and June distillates gained a fraction to $2.99 a gallon.
Natural gas prices have climbed out of the basement recently, but may soon start brushing up against the ceiling. June Natural gas jumped 7.2 cents to $2.46.
On Wall Street, stocks fell on Wednesday for the fifth day in six as investors kept Europe's recent turmoil in focus, but news that Greece will get its latest bailout payment helped cut losses late in the session. The Dow fell 97 to close at 12,835, the Nasdaq closed at 2,934, down 11 and the S&P 500 lost 9 to close at 1,354.