Market Recap: USDA Reports Tank Grain & Oilseeds
Lean hog futures recorded broad gains on Thursday as a round of technical moves helped the complex through still-murky signs for supply and demand. February hog futures rose 103 to 87.30, April hog futures rose 7 to 89.65.
U.S. live cattle futures finished lower on Thursday as traders made cautious moves ahead of trading in cash markets, where prices have recently reflected pressure from losses at beef packers. February Live Cattle 6 to $125, March feeder cattle fell 12 to $155.
US wheat futures stumbled, fueled by larger world wheat stock estimates from government forecasters. March wheat in Chicago ended down 14 3/4 to $6.46; March wheat in KC ended down 18 at $6.92.
US corn futures ended lower, retreating amid farmer selling and profit-taking after a USDA report failed to provide fresh support. March corn ended down 5 1/2 to $6.37.
US soybean futures ended lower, backpedaling from a midday rally, Soy product futures drifted lower, mirroring price movements in soybean futures. March soybeans ended down 4 at $12.27, March soymeal ended down $0.70 at $321.00, and March soyoil finished down 4 to 52.54.
Cotton futures retreated 3.5% by the close after the USDA forecast higher production and lower consumption in a report released Thursday morning. March cotton fell 324 to 90.38, and the May contract lost 330 to close at $91.88.
Gold futures ended higher Thursday as some traders breathed easier after Greek leaders sealed a deal on economic changes, putting the troubled country on track to receive the next installment of financial aid. April gold gained $9.90 to $1,741.20 an ounce, Silver futures followed gold's lead, climbing 22 to end at $33.95.
Oil futures finished higher Thursday after Greece's leadership agreed to a new austerity plan, boosting confidence that the euro zone is taking steps toward resolving its debt crisis. March crude gained $1.13 to $99.84 a barrel, March gasoline gained 3.76 cents to $3.01 a gallon, and March distillates gained 1.9 cents, to $3.20 a gallon.
Natural gas futures turned lower Thursday after a government report showed a modest drop in weekly gas inventories that came in well below average for this time of year. March Natural gas fell 2.1 cents to $2.42.
U.S. stocks gained for a third day Thursday, keeping the indexes at multi-year highs, after U.S. jobless claims dipped and Greece reached an austerity deal that should lead to a new round of international aid. The Dow gained 6 to 12,890, its highest close since May 2008. The S&P 500 rose almost 2 to 1,351, its highest since July 2011. And the Nasdaq gained 11 to 2,927.