cattle futures closed higher Wednesday to notch a third session of gains underpinned by packer margins and small gains in a very light cash market.
Another dip in the U.S. dollar and a drop in grain prices on the back of more clement growing weather helped parts of the livestock complex, though live hog futures lost ground after Tuesday’s mixed performance.
Technical factors also helped cattle futures, particularly the August contract, which added 192 to $114, the soon-to-roll-off June contract added 192 to $119, with feeder cattle for June adding 260 cents at $143
Lean hog futures declined as cash prices eased, with the June contract losing 17 to 82.97, and the July contract fell 65 to 83.32.
Bountiful grain harvests pushed wheat futures to a six-year low Wednesday, while forecasts for good Midwest rains also dragged corn and soybeans lower.
Wheat prices sank to the lowest level in six years as farmers in the U.S. southern Plains made steady harvest progress, gathering a plentiful crop at a time when the world already is oversupplied with the grain, and demand for U.S. wheat is slow. Corn and soybean prices also slid, pressured by forecasts for rainfall in coming days that could reach some of the driest parts of the Midwest, relieving dry soils just in time for corn’s key pollination phase.
July Chicago wheat slid 15 1/4 to $4.29, July KC wheat fell 8 ¾ to $4.00, July corn declined 12 1/2 to $3.72, and July soybeans shed 6 to $11.44
Cotton futures ended mixed in the near term, and gained overall with the October contract gaining 8 to 66.22, and December new crop falling 1 to 65.85, all other months closed higher.
Gold futures rose on Wednesday as continued concerns over Britain leaving the European Union sent investors into the safe-haven metal. July gold gained $8.50 to $1,323.40, and July silver gained 51 cents to $18.35
Crude oil futures made their largest gains in one session since early April as falling U.S. stockpiles and a broader market rebound sent traders back into crude and many other commodities. August crude gained $2.03 to $49.88 a barrel, July gasoline gained 1 cent to $1.52 a gallon, and July diesel gained 5 cents to $1.52 a gallon.
Natural gas inched lower Wednesday as hot near-term weather forecasts got slightly cooler, weakening expectations for strong summer demand. August Natural gas fell 2.2 cents to $2.86.
Stocks on Wall Street tallied big gains for a second day on Wednesday as investors continued to scour for bargains and digest the fallout from Britain’s stunning vote to leave the European Union. The Dow gained 284 to 17,694, the Nasdaq closed at 4,779, up 87, and the S&P 500 gained 34 to 2,070.