U.S. lean-hog futures closed lower Thursday, pressured by profit taking after prices hit four-week highs earlier in the day, further weakness in wholesale pork prices at midweek and lower feed costs, which encourage producers to boost output. August lean hogs were down 35 to 98.57 and the October hog contract fell 65 to close at 85.97.
Live-cattle futures closed narrowly mixed as traders assess beef demand and look for signals of where cash-cattle prices will be by late summer. Cash prices have held generally flat throughout the month of July. Earlier in the session, prices in August and October futures hit one-month lows.
Feeder cattle slid further extending losses from Wednesday on profit taking after prices hit multi-month highs earlier in the week. August live cattle were up 7 to $121, October was down 17 to $125, and August feeders were down 67 to $152.
U.S. soybean futures settled at a 13-month low Thursday on an optimistic crop outlook and heavy farmer selling. August Soybeans ended down 37 1/4 at $13.55 Corn futures also fell sharply, with the front-month September contract dropping 12 1/4 to $4.96, the lowest settlement for the front-month contract since October 2010. Wheat futures also ended lower. September wheat in Chicago ended down 4 at $6.49
Cotton edged higher after trading on both sides of unchanged, October cotton gained 3 to 86.19, and December new crop gained 25 to 85.99. Gold futures settled higher on Thursday, helped by a weaker dollar and easing worries about the longevity of the U.S. monetary stimulus measures. August
Gold gained $9.30 to $1,328.80, and August silver gained 13 cents to $20.14.
Crude-oil futures edged higher Thursday, helped by a rebound in equities and weakness in the dollar. September crude gained 10 cents to $105.49 a barrel, August gasoline fell 3.78 cents to $3.01 a gallon, and August distillates fell 1.20 cents to $3.03 a gallon.
Natural gas futures settled lower Thursday, shrugging off a smaller-than-expected rise in U.S. inventories and looking ahead to weaker demand in August. Natural gas for August delivery settled 5.4 cents to $3.64
On Wall Street, the Nasdaq climbed on Thursday as Facebook’s stock scored its biggest daily percentage gain, but a mixed bag of earnings from other companies limited the Dow and the S&P to modest gains. The Dow gained 13 to close at 15,555, the Nasdaq closed at 3,605, up 25 and the S&P 500 gained 4 to 1,690.