US lean hogs rallied, ending up amid a big discount to the cash market and supply concerns thanks to the hot weather. Extreme heat across the nation's midsection could hurt production, says Linn Group analyst John Ginzel. Traders add that the cash market's premium also supportive. July lean hogs ended up 192 to 95.575, while Aug. lean hogs climbed 270c to 91.70.
U.S. cattle futures rallied as well, Wednesday, rebounding from early weakness amid strong beef prices and good packer margins. June live cattle climbed 115 to $116, August feeder cattle also gained 115 to $148.
U.S. corn futures continue to rise, with new crop contracts rallying to eight-month highs amid yield-threatening weather. July corn climbed 3 1/2 to $6.49. Separately, soybeans ended mixed, as traders booked profits on recent gains. Investors are taking a wait-and-see attitude on soybean crops, acknowledging that rains down the road could still benefit the crop.
July soybeans rose 1/2 to $14.71 a bushel. September wheat rose 4 1/4 to $7.51, and September Kansas City Board of Trade wheat climbed 8 1/2 to $7.60
Cotton enjoyed relatively tranquil low volume trading as investors took a breather following the recent volatility. July cotton fell 30 to 68.01 in very thin trade. The most-actively traded December contract fell 24 to 67.96.
Gold futures ended higher Wednesday, but off the intraday highs hit on comments from a European Central Bank executive that hinted at possible cuts to interest rates. August gold gained $3.50 to $1,578.40 an ounce, July silver lost almost a dime to $26.94.
Oil futures climbed back above $80 a barrel to its highest level in a week after a government report showed U.S. oil inventories fell last week as demand rose. August crude gained 85 cents to $80.21 a barrel, July gasoline fell 2.47 cents to$2.620 a gallon, and July distillates gained 1.72 cents to $2.59 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures inched higher Wednesday to settle at their highest level in 5 1/2 months, following forecasts extreme heat will linger in the center of nation and move eastward in coming days. July nat gas expired a fraction higher at $2.77.
On Wall Street, stocks rose on Wednesday as upbeat economic data helped lift oil prices and energy stocks, overshadowing concerns the upcoming summit of European leaders will fail to yield tangible progress. The Dow gained 92 to close at 12,627, the Nasdaq closed at 2,875, up 21 and the S&P 500 gained 11 to close at 1,331.