Market Recap: Hogs Take Another Hit on Demand Woes
Lean hog futures extended losses from the previous day as another drop in pork prices reinforced signs that pork demand is trailing far behind expectations. April hog futures fell 62 to 83.17, June hog futures fell 7 to 92.65.
U.S. live cattle futures on Wednesday took back some of their deep prior-day losses as hints of stability in cash markets encouraged some traders to cover short positions. April live cattle closed up 62 to $118, April feeders gained 152 to $148.
US soybean futures closed lower, hit by profit-taking and dampened optimism about further gains after Tuesday's USDA supply-and-demand report failed to provide any surprises that could push prices still-higher. May soybeans ended down 4 at $14.22, May soy meal fell $3 to $386.80 and May soy oil dropped 52 to 56.45c. Meanwhile, May corn rose 1 1/4 to $6.36 following Tuesday's slump, May wheat in Chicago climbed 2 1/4 to $6.28, and May wheat in KC jumped 3 to close at $6.44.
Cotton futures rallied as shorts covered their positions, with the appearance that the market is currently trading on the bullish US supply/demand figures. May cotton gained 165 to 91.38, and the July contract gained 4 to close at 88.30.
Gold futures ended near unchanged Wednesday as worries about Europe's debt problems trickled back in to the market. June gold fell 40 cents $1,859.00, June silver fell 15 to $31.54.
Oil futures posted gains Wednesday, avoiding a third-straight losing session on a range of factors that supported the market, including new data on crude inventories that rose only slightly more than expected. May crude gained $1.68 to $102.70 a barrel, May gasoline gained 4.59 cents at $3.29 a gallon, May distillates rose 1.92 cents to $3.11 a gallon.
Natural gas futures settled below $2 Wednesday for the first time since January 2002, crossing the milestone after weak demand and robust production have driven prices down 52% in the past year. May nat gas fell 4.7 cents to $1.98.
U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday after an encouraging start to earnings season helped equities rebound from five days of losses that pushed the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq below key technical levels. The Dow gained 89 to close at 12,805, the Nasdaq closed at 3,016, up 25, and the S&P 500 gained 10 to close at 1,368.