Market Recap: Export Sales Numbers Pull Corn & Wheat Higher
A surge in wholesale pork prices sparked a rally in hog futures on Thursday as contracts in the pork complex rose to four-month highs. April hog hogs jumped 132 to 90.22, and the May hog contract gained 55 to 98.45.
Live cattle futures rose to fresh record highs, supported by rising beef prices and bullish movements in outside markets. February live cattle rose 27 to $126, and March feeder cattle futures rose to a fresh all-time intraday high value of $157 before closing up 2 at $156
US wheat futures ended higher on a rally for corn, decent export sales for both grains and worries about spring wheat acreage. March wheat in Chicago rose 2 3/4 to $6.28, and March wheat in KC climbed 13 to $6.83.
US corn futures rallied on strong weekly export sales. March corn ended up 9 1/4 at $6.36.
US soybean futures ended lower after trading near unchanged levels for most of the day, Soy product futures ended lower, falling in line with soybeans. March soybean ended down 2 3/4 to $12.58, March soy meal ended down $2.00 to $330.80, and March soy oil dropped 30 to 53.05.
Cotton futures barely budged despite an uptick in US export sales of the fiber, reported by the USDA earlier in the day. March cotton fell 5 to 92.45 while the more actively-traded May contract rose 23 to 93.71.
Gold futures clawed back their earlier losses on Thursday, ending in positive territory as hopes for a successful Greek bailout were seen easing the risk of a credit crunch in the euro zone. April gold rose 30 cents to $1,728.40 an ounce, and Mar silver closed at $33.37, down 3.8 cents.
U.S. crude oil futures s settled at a seven-week high Thursday, while North Sea Brent ended at an eight-month high as buyers scrambled to line up alternative supplies amid outages in Yemen, South Sudan and worries about near-term flows from Iran. March crude closed at $102.31 a barrel, March gasoline settled at a six-month high of $3.04 a gallon, up 4.04 cents, March distillates gained 1.81 cents to $3.20 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures rose nearly 6% Thursday after the government reported a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. gas inventories last week, pointing to improving demand. March Natural gas gained 14.2 cents to $2.56
On Wall Street, Stocks ended up on Thursday and the S&P 500 hit a nine-month high, fueled by strong U.S. economic data and increased hopes for a deal on a Greek bailout next week. The Dow gained 123 to close at 12,904, the Nasdaq closed at 2,959, up 44 and the S&P 500 gained 1,358.