Cattle futures prices bounced higher on bets that rising beef prices won’t soften consumer and export demand. Hog futures also climbed.
Live cattle futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange closed Thursday at their highest level since Aug. 4, resuming a rally that has pushed contracts 9% higher since markets opened at the beginning of the week. December- live cattle gained 162 to $120, February gained 137 to $126, and October feeders gained 57 to $155.
Questions remain among analysts as to whether demand for U.S. beef can keep up with expanding supplies.
Hog futures settled higher Thursday, despite signs of cooling prices in the cash market, where prices were seen steady to slightly lower. December hogs gained 57 to 65.05, and February gained 92 to 70.52.
Grain and soybean futures slid Thursday, weighed down by reports of robust yields from U.S. farm fields.
Prices for soybeans dropped for a third straight session, erasing gains posted earlier in the day as harvest pressure and global currency shifts outstripped optimism over strong export sales. Still, reports of strong yields from the U.S. Farm Belt ultimately depressed prices for the oilseeds, as did declines in the Brazilian real. Corn futures slipped, pressured by lower wheat prices and better-than-expected yield reports from the advancing harvest.
November Soybeans fell 4 1/4 to $9.71, December corn futures shed 1/2 cent, or 0.1%, to $3.50, December Chicago wheat sank 3 3/4 to $4.31, and December KC wheat dropped 5 ¼ to $4.28.
Cotton futures seem to be determined to give back all early week gains, which were made on the prediction of frost on the Texas Plains during the upcoming days, potentially damaging the bumper crop. December cotton fell 112 to 68.19, and March fell 100 to 68.06.
Oil prices wavered between gains and losses Thursday, as the market held steady in a newfound, higher range for crude. December crude gained 46 cents to $52.64 a barrel, November gasoline gained 2 cents to $1.75 a gallon, and November diesel also gained 2 cents to $1.84 a gallon.
Natural-gas prices fell Thursday as U.S. data showed that stockpiles rose last week in line with analyst expectations.
November nat gas fell 2.9 cents to $2.89.
On Wall Street, stocks advanced on Thursday to recover some declines from the prior session, after a round of positive corporate earnings, although gains were curbed by a drop in the healthcare sector. The Dow gained 71 to 23,400, the Nasdaq closed at 6,556, down 7 and the S&P 500 gained 3 to 2,560.