Cattle, Hog Futures Climb

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Cattle futures rose on Thursday as buyers returned to the market.

Traders reacted to chart patterns that suggested prices would head higher, analysts said. Cattle futures fell for eight consecutive days earlier this week, creating room for bargain hunting.

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December-dated live cattle futures rose 0.5% to $1.16275 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Contracts for feeder cattle were also higher.

The supply-and-demand outlook for the cattle market was mixed, however. Wholesale beef prices have trended lower in December.

The week's cash trade for cattle has been slow to get going as meatpackers and feedlots haggle over bids. Sales didn't emerge during Thursday's session, with packers mostly bidding $114 per 100 pounds on a live basis while feedlots asked for several dollars more.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that around 1,500 head of cattle traded on Wednesday for an average of $117.64 live, in line with a week earlier though not enough for a trend. Analysts expected prices to fall once the bulk of the trade got started.

Hog futures also rose. The front-month CME December contract gained 0.1% to 64.025 cents a pound, while the most-active February contract gained 1.2% to 67.625 cents.

Wholesale pork prices were slightly higher at midday, rising 87 cents to $77.38 per 100 pounds, after sharp losses this week.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 14, 2017 15:01 ET (20:01 GMT)