Chicago Wheat futures posted a high-range close Thursday with gains of 0.0575 to 0.135 in the Mar through Jul contracts. Kansas City Wheat was mostly 0.04 to 0.05 higher. Minneapolis Wheat posted gains around a 0.01 in all but the front month, which was - 0.0175. Wheat futures were boosted by spillover support from the Corn market and positive outside markets Thursday

Corn futures rallied into the close to finish with gains of 0.09 to 0.125 in the Mar through Sept contracts. Deferred contracts posted lighter gains. The Corn market's fall below 6.00 last week encouraged some value buying on ideas the Southside was overdone. Egypt bought US Corn yesterday and both South Korea and Mexico purchased US Corn Thursday.

Soybean futures closed 0.07 to 0.135 higher and finished near session highs. Old-crop contracts led price gains. Soybean futures were boosted by the demand side of the market Thursday. Talk that China has purchased 10 to 12 cargoes of US Soybean in the past week circulated through the market. There's also talk China (or exporters) may have switched origin on some near-term shipments of Soybean due to harvest delays in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Cotton futures firmed late in the session to close 46 to 69 pts higher. Futures ended just off session highs. Cotton futures again fought off early profit-taking pressure to close higher. The late recovery was largely spurred by weakness in the US Dollar index and double-digit gains in the Corn and Soybean markets.

Lean Hog futures traded on both sides of unchanged today, but settled at or near the bottom of their daily trading range with losses of 0.225 to 0.90 in the Feb through Oct contracts. After a strong start to the week, traders booked profits Thursday, and evened positions ahead of USDA's Cold Storage Report tomorrow. It is expected to show total Pork inventories of 496.8-M lbs at the end of Dec.

Live Cattle futures firmed as the day progressed to finish 0.35 to 1.15 higher. Feeder Cattle futures posted gains of 0.35 to 1.225. Strength in futures encouraged packers to up their cash Cattle bids, but their standoff with feedlots continues. Tighter show lists and strong boxed Beef movement this week gives feedlots some leverage, but packers continue to cut in the Red.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.