Hog Futures Soar
The hog market rallied into the session’s close, after trading this week at the lowest levels in four years due to growing supplies as herds have bounced back from a deadly virus.
February hogs rose 210 to 71.52, April hogs surged the daily limit earlier in the session, ending up 290 at 74.95.
Live-cattle futures ended the session higher Wednesday, lifted by short-covering after prices earlier this week slid to the lowest levels in around five months.
February live-cattle futures gained 112 to $153, April live-cattle futures rose 50 0 to $151 and March Feeder cattle gained 52 to $204
Wheat futures settled at a 3 1/2 month low on Wednesday as investors fretted about a strong dollar hurting the global competitiveness of U.S. supplies and the health of the South American harvest. Corn and soybean futures were also down. Investors have begun focusing on the progress of those crops in South America, and in recent days private forecasters have begun boosting their optimism about the size of the harvest.
March Chicago wheat fell 13 ¾ to $5.05, March KC wheat fell 14 ½ to $5.35, March corn was off 8 at $3.73, and March soybeans shed 3 1/2 to $9.70
Cotton futures ended mixed Wednesday with the March contract down 14 to 58.64, and the May contract gaining 69 to 60.23. Out month contracts were all higher as well.
Gold futures pulled lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled it would keep interest rates near zero at least until midyear. Fed officials reiterated their pledge to remain “patient” in beginning to raise interest rates, telegraphing that no policy shift is likely until at least June. February gold fell $5.80 to $1,285.90, and March silver closed at $18.08, up 4 cents.
U.S.-crude prices landed at their lowest close in nearly six years on news that oil in storage is building up at a historic pace. March crude fell $1.78 to $44.45 a barrel, February gasoline fell a fraction to $1.34 a gallon, and February diesel dropped 3.1 cents to $1.63 a gallon.
Natural gas prices gave back all the prior day’s gains on expectations that supplies are rising and will keep overwhelming demand. February nat gas fell 11.5 cents to $2.86.
On Wall Street, stocks closed down on Wednesday, driven by a sharp decline in the S&P 500 energy sector, after the Federal Reserve said the domestic economy was growing at a solid pace, signaling it remains on track to raise interest rates later this year. The Dow fell 195 to 17,191, the Nasdaq closed at 4,637, down 43, and the S&P 500 fell 27 to 2,002.