Grains post modest gains in pre-Christmas trading
Hog futures again performed relatively well Monday, with much of the optimism in the pit resulting from ideas that grocers will feature pork quite aggressively in January. The fact that wholesale prices weren’t updated by the USDA may actually have supported the market as well, since seasonal weakness due to diving ham prices was probably to be expected. Whatever the cause, the strong close seems likely to prompt a quick test of stubborn chart resistance in the 88.00-88.25 cent/pound range during the days ahead. February hogs rose surged 0.65 cents lower to 87.55 cents/pound on Christmas Eve, while its June counterpart edged 0.10 higher to 100.75.
Friday afternoon news that non-commercial dealers had boosted their long holdings to the higher in over a year reportedly sparked fresh buying in cotton futures Monday. The optimism is largely based upon the strength of recent export reports, especially those implying active buying from China. The fact that nearby futures have pushed to three-month highs is probably exciting bullish interest as well. March cotton climbed 0.22 cents to 76.40 cents/pound Monday and gained another 0.14 cents to 76.54 in early-morning trading. December inched 0.15 cents higher to 78.30 just before Christmas and was unchanged in Wednesday morning trading.