Grain Futures Continue to Soften on Benevolent Harvest Weather
Cattle futures bounced back from a steep early-week drop in most contracts on Wednesday, buoyed by short-covering as investors scaled-back bets on the market falling further in the near-term.
October cattle futures dropped 35 to $103, a fresh three-week low, but sharply higher than the session’s lows. December live-cattle futures advanced 50 to $103, and September feeder-cattle futures picked up 35 cent to $135, and other issues climbed higher.
Hog futures ended the session mixed, remaining at a seven-year low ahead of a U.S. Department of Agriculture report due out on Friday. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal predict the data will show the nation’s herd is still expanding even in the face of steep losses for farmers.
October futures were flat with the previous session’s close, at 51.70, the lowest since Oct. 14, 2009. December hog futures rose 25 to 46.70 cents. Other contracts declined.
Corn and soybean futures slid on Wednesday, as the U.S. harvest progressed with farmers this year expected to reap bumper crops for the fourth year in a row, adding to domestic supplies.
Meanwhile, wheat was mixed.
Soybeans led the declines, falling as combines rolled through Midwest farm fields and speculation mounted that yields for the oilseeds would beat expectations thanks to benevolent weather during the growing season. Harvest pressure also weighed on corn.
November Soybeans fell 7 to $9.45, December corn declined 2 1/2 to $3.29, December Chicago wheat shed 3/4 to $4.03, and December KC wheat gained 2 to $4.21.
Cotton futures have given back all of last week’s gains as rain on the Texas Plains seems to be over, with none in the forecast. December cotton fell 126 to 68.48, and March fell 126 as well to 68.98.
Gold futures fell to a one-week low on Wednesday on a stronger dollar and mixed views on the likelihood of a rate increase by the Federal Reserve this December. October gold closed at $1,32.30, down $4.70, and October silver gained 5 cents to $19.14.
Oil futures climbed Wednesday on a news report that OPEC could agree to limit production in November, though a deal isn’t final. November crude settled up $2.38 to $47.05 a barrel, Gasoline futures rose 8.4 cents to $1.47 a gallon, Diesel futures rose 8.11 cents to $1.49 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures fell Wednesday on expectations that demand for the fuel would decline as temperatures cool. October natural gas fell 4.4 cents to $2.95.
Wall Street moved higher on Wednesday after an OPEC agreement to limit crude output fueled a rally in oil and more than offset nervousness about a tight race for the U.S. presidency. The Dow gained 110 to 18,339, the Nasdaq closed at 5,318, up 12 and the S&P 500 gained 11 to finish the day at 2,171.