Hogs, Cattle Close Mixed
U.S. lean hog futures were mixed, as the nearby contract was supported by profit-taking prompted in part by lower corn prices. Other contracts were lower. August lean hogs ended up 25 at 93.20, while October lean hogs were down 57 at 79.72.
U.S. cattle futures were mixed Wednesday, as feeder cattle gained on a decline in corn prices and tightening supplies. August feeder cattle climbed 115 to $139, Live cattle was mixed, with the August contract gaining 12 to $119 while other contracts were lower.
Soybean futures settled lower Wednesday, pressured by wetter weather forecasts and risk-averse attitudes leading to profit-taking. August soybeans fell 38 3/4 to $16.82.
Corn futures also fell Wednesday, as that crop has already suffered most of the losses it will see from the drought, analysts said. Corn traders are shifting their focus from weather forecasts to trying to gauge how much demand is likely to decline at the current high price levels. If expectations for the crop's yield sink further, then prices could still move higher, traders said. September corn fell 6 to $8.00.
Wheat futures fell on the weakness in corn, which had pulled wheat prices sharply higher starting in June, and on eased worries about weather reducing wheat production in major exporting nations including Australia and Russia. September wheat in Chicago fell 8 3/4 to $8.79. September wheat in KC fell 8 1/2 to $8.84.
Cotton futures slipped, pressured by a stronger dollar and a general lack of buying interest due to massive global supplies. Near-month October cotton fell 52 to 70.06, new crop December fell 78 to 70.56.
Gold futures pared their losses in after-market trading as investors sifted through the highly anticipated Federal Reserve policy statement. August gold fell $7.40 to $1,603.00, and August silver fell 37 cents to $27.50.
Oil futures prices ended higher Wednesday, but gave up their steepest intraday gains after the Federal Reserve held back from announcing any fresh steps to stimulate the U.S. economy. September crude gained 85 cents to $88.91 a barrel, Front-month September gasoline rose 5.99 cents to $2.8342 a gallon, and September distillates rose 1.08 cents to $2.85 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures declined Wednesday ahead of weekly government data on U.S. natural-gas stockpiles as temperatures are seen moderating in parts of the U.S., reducing the need for natural-gas-fired electricity. September Natural gas fell 3.8 cents to $3.17.
Stocks slipped on Wednesday on disappointment that the Federal Reserve offered no new measures to stimulate the economy and after a computer glitch at a brokerage triggered a spike in volatility shortly after the open. The Dow fell 32 to 12,976, the Nasdaq closed at 2,920, down 19, and the S&P 500 dropped 4 to close at 1,375.