U.S. lean-hog futures ended the trading day lower, pressured by signals from the cash market that larger hog supplies may be headed to slaughter in the weeks to come. October lean hogs fell 57 to 91.15, December hogs fell 65 to 87.30.
Cattle futures, meanwhile, were lifted by expectations that a federal on-feed inventory report due out later today will reveal the smallest number of cattle placed into commercial feedyards on record for the month of August. Feeder-cattle followed live-cattle prices higher. October Live-cattle rose 65 to $125, October feeder-cattle picked up 107 to $159.
Wheat futures rose to a seven-week high Thursday, buoyed by stronger export demand for the U.S. crop. Meanwhile, corn gained, while soybeans fell. Corn futures drew support from concerns that rainfall in the southern part of the Farm Belt will delay corn harvesting, keeping some supplies out of the market in the short term. Soybeans continued to pull back from advances last week, pressured in part by rainfall in the Midwest this week.
December Wheat in Chicago rose 10 1/2 to $6.57, December KC wheat jumped 9 ½ to $7.02, December corn gained 3 1/4 to $4.59, and November soybean futures dropped 8 1/4 to $13.39.
October Cotton closed 39 lower at 85.34 on a drop in U.S. export sales of the fiber. December new crop closed unchanged at 85.54.
Prices gold surged Thursday as investors reacted to the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision the previous day not to begin withdrawing its monetary stimulus. December gold gained $58.50 to $1,366, and December silver closed at $23.29, up $1.69.
Oil futures fell Thursday as traders took profits after Wednesday's sharp rally, which was sparked by the Federal Reserve's announcement that it will maintain the pace of its bond-buying program. October crude dropped $1.68 to $106.39 a barrel, October gasoline fell 4.49 cents to $2.69 a gallon, and October distillates fell 3.65 cents to $3.00 a gallon.
Natural gas futures finished higher Thursday, but gave back their steepest intraday gains, after a government report suggested gas demand was stronger than expected last week. October Natural gas gained a fraction to $3.72.
On Wall Street, stocks retreated slightly on Thursday as investors paused after the Federal Reserve's decision to keep its stimulus intact sparked a rally that lifted the Dow and S&P 500 to record highs. The Dow fell 40 to 15,636, the Nasdaq closed at 3,789, up 5 and the S&P 500 fell 3 to 1,722.