Market Recap: Cotton Continues to Slip on Lack of Chinese Buyers

U.S. lean hog futures fell sharply Thursday as a round of technical selling added pressure from hints of weakness in cash hog markets. February hog futures fell 67 to 85.95, April hog futures closed down 142 to 86.80.

U.S. live cattle futures recorded sharp losses Thursday as technical selling and profit-taking took back some recent impressive gains. Cattle for February delivery closed down 130 to $124, March Feeders fell 137 to close at $153.

US wheat futures ended up on short-covering and European supply concerns. March wheat in Chicago ended up 12 1/4 to $6.53, March wheat in KC closed up 12 to $7.09.

US corn futures ended mixed, as outside pressure and farmer selling takes some steam out of the market. March corn ended flat at $6.34.

US soy futures ended higher amid uncertainty about the South America crop and outside market support. March soybeans ended up 9 1/4 to $12.22, March soy meal ended up $2.50 to $323.60 and March soy oil closed up 55 to 51.94.

ICE cotton futures slipped for the third day in lackluster trade. Not even the USDA's weekly export-sales report could jolt the market into action. March cotton closed down 133 at 95.59, and the May contract fell 132 closing at 96.04.

Gold futures locked in their second consecutive gain Thursday, spurred on by a weaker dollar and as investors cheered the Federal Reserve's expectations of a protracted period of low interest rates.  February gold gained $26.60 to $1,726.70, February silver gained 59 to close at $33.67.

Crude oil futures settled little changed and below $100 a barrel after the West's energy watchdog reiterated that it doesn't see any disruption in oil supplies now, but could tap emergency stockpiles if needed. March crude gained 30 cents to $99.70 a barrel, February distillates gained 3.43 cents to $3.05 a gallon, and February gasoline gained 1.28 cents $2.84 a gallon, the highest price since Sept. 8, 2011.

Natural gas futures fell sharply Thursday, halting a rally that had lasted all week, as traders focused on the likelihood of weak demand for the remainder of the winter. February Natural gas fell 12.4 cents to $2.60.

A rally sparked by the Federal Reserve's low-rate pledge stalled out on Thursday, with the markets sliding modestly into the red after mixed corporate earnings reports, lackluster economic data and deadlocked Greek debt talks curbed traders' buying appetite. The Dow fell 22 to close at 12,734, the Nasdaq closed at 2,805, down 13 and the S&P 500 dropped 7 to finish at 1,318. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.