Wheat Futures Begin Recovery Going into Holiday Weekend
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U.S. cattle futures surged to new highs Thursday on a rally to fresh peaks in the cash and wholesale beef markets, which has fueled sentiment that demand for record-expensive burgers, steaks, and other products remains steady while the pool of available animals remains smaller than expected.

August live-cattle climbed 267 to $155, the October contract gained 122 to $156.

Hog futures, too, advanced lifted by a steady climb in cash market prices. July hogs rose 92 to $131, most-active hogs for August picked up 125 to $131.

Corn futures settled lower for a fourth straight session, pressured by expectations the U.S. will produce another bumper crop this autumn.

Soybean futures dropped for the fifth straight session, weighed down by the USDA’s estimate Monday that farmers would plant more acres with the oilseeds this year than analysts had expected, while wheat advanced for the second straight session after sliding earlier this week to a nearly five-month intraday low.

July Corn slipped 1 1/2 to $4.17, July soybeans declined 4 3/4 to $13.87, July Chicago wheat added 6 1/4 to $5.68, July KC wheat jumped 14 to $6.97.

Cotton is back in fashion among U.S. farmers this season, a trend that has pushed prices to the lowest level in more than 19 months. December new crop Cotton fell 41 to 72.06, nearby October cotton fell 47 to 71.79.

Gold ended lower Thursday, after better-than-expected jobs data showed the U.S. recovery may be gaining traction, prompting traders to take profits on the precious metal’s recent gains. August gold fell $10.30 to $1,320.60, September silver closed at $21.13, down 16.5 cents.

Oil futures slipped Thursday posting their longest losing streak in two years, on expectations that halted Libyan exports could resume, increasing global oil supplies.  August crude fell 42 cents to $104.06 a barrel, August gasoline gained a fraction to $3.01 a gallon, and August diesel fell 1.77 cents to $2.92.

Natural-gas prices rose Thursday as buyers rushed back into the market to close out positions ahead of the holiday weekend.  August nat gas gained 4.9 cents to $4.40

Wall Street’s holiday-shortened session ended with multiple records on Thursday, with the Dow topping 17,000 for the first time after the June jobs report came in much stronger than expected.  The Dow gained 92 to close at 17,068, the Nasdaq closed at 4,485, up 28, and the S&P 500 gained 10 to finish the short week at 1,985.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.

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