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COMMODITIES : Grain, Soybean Futures Rise in Light Trading

February 25, 1988|From Associated Press

Grain and soybean futures ended mostly higher in fairly light trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Livestock and meat futures were mixed, energy futures retreated and stock index futures declined.

Corn was the most consistent performer, showing strength throughout the session on rumors that the Soviet Union had purchased as much as 2 million metric tons of U.S. corn overnight, said Dale Gustafson, an analyst in Chicago for Drexel Burnham Lambert.

The Agriculture Department announced after the market's close that the Soviets had bought 350,000 metric tons of U.S. corn.

Soybeans lagged for the most of the day but ended mixed on a late surge of buying led by C&D Commodities, a major player in the soybean pit, analysts said.

Wheat ended slightly higher on talk of expected new export sales to European nations, Gustafson said.

Wheat settled 1/2 cent to 2 1/2 cents higher, with March at $3.17 a bushel; corn was 1/2 cent to 2 1/2 cents higher, with March at $1.99 a bushel; oats were unchanged to 1/2 cent lower, with March at $1.90 a bushel, and soybeans were 1 cent lower to 3 3/4 cents higher, with March at $6.24 3/4 a bushel.

Cattle futures settled mostly higher while pork futures ended mixed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Cattle futures were supported by higher cash values but limited by sluggish wholesale demand for beef, said Charlie Richardson, an analyst in Denver for Lind-Waldock & Co.

Lower cash prices pressured pork, he said.

Live cattle settled 0.20 cent to 0.43 cent higher, with April at 72.20 a pound; feeder cattle were 0.10 cent lower to 0.45 cent higher, with March at 80.92 cents a pound; hogs were 0.62 cent lower to 0.45 cent higher, with April at 44.12 cents a pound, and frozen pork bellies were 0.12 cent lower to 0.47 cent higher, with March at 52.27 cents a pound.

Oil prices slipped on the New York Mercantile Exchange on technical factors after an early attempt to rally fizzled, analysts said.

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