Wheat futures slumped on Tuesday, as worries over harm to U.S. crops from cold winter weather eased somewhat and export prospects dimmed amid strength in the U.S. dollar. Corn and soybean futures also fell, buffeted by lower wheat prices. Losses in the corn market came also as traders took profits after prices hit a nearly six-month high in the previous session and U.S. farmers increased sales of grain.
March Chicago wheat slid 13 1/2 to $6.02, March KC wheat fell 11 ½ to $6.36, March corn dropped 6 1/4 to $4.06, January soybeans dipped 4 to $10.37.
Near-month cotton futures fell on Tuesday, along with the rest of the soft commodities complex in light, holiday trade. March cotton fell 3 to 61.98, and the May contract gained 11 to 62.59.
Gold prices ended at more than $1,200 an ounce for the first time in two weeks Tuesday, helped by a wave of political uncertainty in Greece and a weaker dollar. February gold rose $18.50 to $1,200.40, and March silver closed at $16.27, up 49.7 cents.
Oil futures ticked higher Tuesday, rebounding slightly from multiyear lows on the belief that U.S. supplies fell last week. February crude on Tuesday rose 51 cents to $54.12 a barrel, January gasoline gained a fraction to $1.45 a gallon, and January diesel rose 1.97 cents to $1.86 a gallon.
Natural gas prices skidded Tuesday on expectations of continuing moderate demand for the heating fuel. February Natural gas fell 10.5 cents to $3.09.
On Wall Street, stocks fell on Tuesday, as the recent rally lost steam to pull major indexes off record levels, while the trend of modest moves and low volume continued moving into the final trading day of the year. The Dow fell 55 to 17,983, the Nasdaq closed at 4,777, down 29, and the S&P 500 dropped 10 to 2,080.