U.S. livestock futures fell at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Thursday as a government report signaled lower feed costs and expanding meat production. lean hog futures fell as a drop in pork prices added to concerns about higher meat production.
May hog futures closed down 27 to 79.80, June hog futures fell 35 to 84.50. June Live Cattle closed down 75 to $115, May feeder cattle finished down 30 to $150.
U.S. corn futures closed lower Thursday after the U.S. government unexpectedly raised its forecast for near-term corn supplies and projected a record corn harvest this autumn. July corn fell 19 3/4 to $5.87.
Separately, soybean futures rose after the USDA said domestic soybean stocks as of Aug. 31 are likely to drop to 210 million bushels, down 16% from the 250 million bushels it predicted a month ago and down 2.3% from a year earlier, due to higher exports and domestic use at processors. July soybeans rose 25 to $14.55.
Wheat futures ended mixed, as the drop in corn prices pressured wheat, but the USDA cut its forecasts for domestic and world wheat inventories. July wheat in Chicago rose 1 1/4 to $6.01, July wheat in KC fell 1 1/2 to $6.17.
Cotton futures plummeted to their lowest point since July 2010 on Thursday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast robust global supplies for the next season. July Cotton finished limit down at 81.82, the October contract also fell the limit to 81.60.
Gold futures eked out a slight gain on Thursday, rising for the first time this week as relative calm in Europe drew buyers back to the precious metal after a three-day selloff. June gold rose $1.30 to t $1,595.50, June silver fell 61 cents to 29.15.
U.S. crude oil futures settled modestly higher Thursday, snapping a six-day losing streak that slashed prices to three-month lows. June crude oil gained 27 cents to $97.08 a barrel. June gasoline fell 1.39 cents $3.01 a gallon and June distillates fell 1.57 cents to $2.98 a gallon.
Natural gas futures ended at their highest level since February, capping a volatile session, after the government reported showed a smaller-than-expected increase in natural gas inventories. June Natural gas gained 2.2 cents to $2.48.
On Wall Street, the Dow and the S&P 500 eked out a slim gain on Thursday as investors dipped back into the market after a weak stretch, but a disappointing outlook from tech bellwether Cisco Systems and caution about Europe limited gains. The Dow gained 19 to close at 12,855, the Nasdaq closed at 2,933, down 1 and the S&P 500 gained 3 to finish at 1,357.