Lean hog futures closed mixed as traders weighed improving signs of pork demand against the risk of higher supplies later this year. April hog futures rose 4 to 87.75, June hog futures closed unchanged at 95.55.
U.S. live cattle ended a four-day slide Thursday, helped by technical moves by traders and signs that beef demand, for now, is holding steady. April Live Cattle rose 107 to $126, March feeders gained 107 to close at $154.
Wheat futures closed lower in the face of strong global supplies. May wheat in Chicago fell 4 1/2 to $6.34, while May wheat in Kansas City dropped 5 1/2 to $6.78.
US corn futures hit a 2-week low as traders continued to reduce risk exposure ahead of today's USDA supply-and-demand reports. May corn fell 3 1/4 to $6.35.
U.S. soybean futures ended higher Thursday, settling at a new six-month high on increasing export demand and concerns over the size of the South American crop. May Soybeans ended up 11 3/4 at $13.38, March bean meal gained 230 to $363.20, and march bean oil gained 41 to close at 53.02.
Cotton futures fell for the third session in a row as the March contract expired, despite positive US cotton export sales numbers. May cotton fell 190 to 89.56, and the July contract dropped 57 to close at 90.70.
Gold futures ended higher Thursday, but short of $1,700 on trader optimism that the closely watched Greek debt-swap deal would be completed. April gold gained $14.80 to $1,698.70 an ounce, and May silver closed at $33.83, up 24.6 cents.
Crude oil futures settled higher Thursday on growing optimism that the Greek debt-swap deal will be approved, and on rising equities. April crude oil finished up 42 cents at $106.58 a barrel, April gasoline gained 2.66 cents to $3.31 a gallon, and April distillates gained 5.01 cents to $3.26 a gallon.
Natural gas futures swooned Thursday and closed at another new decade low, despite a key inventory report coming in only slightly below expectations. April nat gas ended the day down 3 cents at $2.27.
On Wall Street, Thursday morning’s favorable news flow helped stocks sustain the positive momentum from Wednesday. The Dow gained 70 to close at 12,907, the Nasdaq closed at 2,970, up 34, and the S&P 500 gained 13 to close at 1,365.