Cattle futures fell as traders waited for the week’s cash trade to develop.
Many traders expected physical cattle prices to rise, and buying interest in the futures market waned as they waited for confirmation of this week’s price direction. Hog futures also fell.
December live cattle fell 57 to $119, the February contract dropped 162 to $124, and January feeders dropped 140 to $154.
December Lean hog futures fell 80 to 64.27, the February contract dropped 112 to 69.77.
Corn futures bounced as traders played that market against falling soybean prices.
Hedge funds are holding a large net short position in the corn market, while being net long in soybeans. Analysts said they were unwinding those bets on Thursday, selling the oilseed and buying the grain. Wheat futures were mixed during the session before closing lower. Underwhelming export sales sparked broader pressure in grain and oilseed markets. Analysts are increasingly concerned about the ability of U.S. exporters to keep up with projected soybean exports for this year.
December Corn rose 2 ¾ to $3.41, January soybeans fell 6 ¾ to $9.85, December Chicago wheat fell 7 ¼ to $4.09, and December KC wheat gained 1 ¼ to $4.14.
Cotton futures slipped on Thursday with the March contract falling 62 to 72.81, and May fell 49 to 73.48.
Oil prices closed higher lower on Thursday, after a group of major oil producers agreed to extend supply cuts through the end of next year. January crude inched up 10 cents to $57.40 a barrel, gasoline futures closed unchanged at $1.73 a gallon, and diesel futures fell 3 cents to $1.89 a gallon.
Natural gas futures fell Thursday, weighed down by uncertainty surrounding weather patterns over the next month.
January nat gas declined 15.4 cents to $3.02.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 hit a record closing high on Thursday and the Dow broke above the 24,000 mark for the first time as investor bet that U.S. Republicans would pass a U.S. tax overhaul. The Dow gained 331 to 24,272, the Nasdaq closed at 6,873, up 49, and the S&P 500 gained 21 to 2,647.