U.S. lean-hog futures Thursday surged to multi-month highs in most contracts and a new individual high in nearby July amid support from stronger-than-expected gains in wholesale pork prices throughout June. July lean hogs were up 202 at $101, August lean hogs finished up 175 at 99.40
Live-cattle futures closed mostly higher as well Thursday, lifted by technical support, spillover from lean hogs and solid gains in the equities markets. Strength in most other commodities also contributed support. Feeder cattle also closed higher, aided by the strength in most live cattle contracts. Soon-to-expire June live cattle closed down slightly at $121, August, the most actively traded contract, was up 75 at $122. August feeders were up 77 at $149.
U.S. corn and soybean futures ended mixed Thursday, with nearby contracts up on tight current supplies. Wheat futures fell on positioning ahead of the USDA reports and seasonal pressure from the ongoing harvest of winter wheat in the southern Plains. July corn gained 2 3/4 to $6.67, July soybeans rose 14 1/4 to $15.48, July wheat in Chicago fell 3 1/2 to $6.63, and July wheat in KC fell 7 3/4 to $6.86
Cotton futures slipped on Thursday after a report showed a slowdown in U.S. export sales of the fiber. But, rebounded late in the session. October cotton gained 84 to 86.13, and December new crop gained 18 to 83.88.
Gold futures fell below $1,200 a troy ounce Thursday amid continued worries about a coming end to Federal Reserve stimulus. Futures have fallen for four straight sessions, and Thursday's decline brings gold's losses in 2013 to 28%. The drop this year is set to end 11 years of rising gold prices. August gold fell $18.20 to$1,211.60, and September silver closed at $18.55, down 6.0 cents.
Oil futures rose Thursday for the fourth straight session, as U.S. economic data and statements from Federal Reserve officials on monetary policy pushed broader markets higher. August crude gained $1.55 at $97.05 a barrel, July gasoline gained 1.20 cents to $ 2.74 a gallon, and July distillates gained 3.51 cents $2.88 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures tumbled to a three-month low after a government report showed a bigger-than-expected increase in U.S. gas stockpiles, underscoring sluggish demand for the fuel. August Natural gas fell 14.7 cents to $3.59.
On Wall Street stocks climbed for a third straight day after comments from several Federal Reserve officials soothed concerns that the central bank would begin to reduce its stimulus efforts in the near future. the Dow gained 114 to 15,024, the Nasdaq closed at 3,401, up 25 and the S&P 500 gained almost 10 to 1,613.