Recap for March 24
- Chatter that Russia was considering halting wheat exports due to lower prices supported the wheat complex Friday, even as some analysts said it was merely a financial maneuver to raise grain prices, and futures ended mixed for the week. Continued robust Chinese demand for US corn kept corn futures on the upside tip to close the week, touching the highest prices since February, but futures still were mixed for the week. Soybeans closed higher in a rebound of a mid-week descent to the most active contract’s lowest level since Nov. 4, but soy complex futures still were sharply lower for the week. May corn jumped 11¼¢ and landed at $6.43 a bu. Chicago May wheat sailed up 26½¢ to settle at $6.88½ a bu. Kansas City May wheat soared 28¼¢ higher to close at $8.48 a bu. Minneapolis May wheat rose 16¼¢ to close at $8.57½ a bu. May soybean futures ascended 8¾¢ to close at $14.28¼ a bu. May soybean meal added $6.80 to close at $445.10 per ton. May soybean oil advanced 1.1¢ to close at 52.27¢ a lb.
- As a second week of banking sector turmoil since the March 10 failure of Silicon Valley Bank drew to a close, investors held on to fears about the health of the US banking system but regained enough confidence to send US equity markets higher Friday and for the third week of March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 132.28 points, or 0.41%, to close at 32,237.53. The Standard & Poor’s 500 added 22.27 points, or 0.56%, to close at 3,970.99. The Nasdaq Composite gained 36.56 points, or 0.31%, to end at 11,823.96.
- US crude oil futures were lower a second day Friday after rising the first three sessions of the week. The April West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude contract dropped 70¢ to close at $69.26 per barrel.
- The US dollar index extended its nascent rally a second day on the heels of a five-session slip that bridged the past two weeks.
- Investor sold US gold Friday as the dollar continued higher, the April contract down $12.10 to $1,983.80 per oz.
Recap for March 23
- Soybean futures prices sank Thursday, the May contract descending to its lowest level for the most-active contract since Nov. 18, on pressure attributed to liquidation of long positions amid export sales figures that came in below the range of trade expectations. Soymeal futures dropped alongside spot basis offers in US truck and rail markets and firming basis bids at US Midwest elevators. Chicago corn futures advanced in early trading — touching the highest prices since February on strong export sales to China — before reversing to close mostly lower by the closing bell. Wheat futures closed higher in part on dryness in the hard red winter wheat growing region. The two nearby Chicago soft red winter wheat contracts were depressed by disappointing export data coupled with an inter-market spread widening in favor of KC. May corn eased 1¾¢ to close at $6.31¾ a bu; furthest deferred 2024 months were higher. Chicago May wheat subtracted 1½¢ to close at $6.62 a bu; the September future and beyond edged higher. Kansas City May wheat added 8½¢ to settle at $8.19¾ a bu. Minneapolis May wheat advanced 7½¢ to close at $8.41¼ a bu. May soybean futures plummeted 29¢ to close at $14.19½ a bu. May soybean meal pulled back $13.30 to close at $438.30 per ton. May soybean oil subtracted 2.47¢ to close at 52.17¢ a lb.
- In continued rocky trading Thursday, US equity markets gained for most of the day and remained higher at the closing bell, though the ricochet off Wednesday’s plunge slackened in late trading. Driving investors was speculation over the Federal Reserve’s interest rate path forward after announcing a quarter-point increase a day earlier. Some analysts considered statements by Fed chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury secretary Janet Yellen to be at odds and trading made apparent the market’s tussle with uncertainty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 75.14 points, or 0.2%, to close at 32,105.25. The Standard & Poor’s 500 edged up 11.75 points, or 0.3%, to close at 3,948.72. The Nasdaq Composite rose 117.44 points, or 1%, to end at 11,787.40.
- US crude oil prices posted their first declines of the week Thursday. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude April contract dropped 41¢ to close at $69.55 per barrel.
- The US dollar index reversed its five-day course lower and turned higher on Thursday.
- US gold futures prices stayed the course, continuing higher Thursday, the April contract up $46.30 to $1,995.90 per oz.
Recap for March 22
- Traders liquidated long positions starting before the Federal Reserve announced the latest interest rate hike, leaving wheat and soy complex futures lower for the day and corn futures mixed. The most-active soybean contract touched a 15-week low in the session. More pressure on the wheat complex came from beneficial, timely rains in France and elsewhere in western Europe. The renewal of the Black Sea grain initiative weighed on wheat and deferred corn prices. May corn added 3½¢ to close at $6.33½ a bu, but later months were mixed. Chicago May wheat dropped 19¾¢ to close at $6.63½ a bu. Kansas City May wheat lost 9¢ to settle at $8.11¼ a bu. Minneapolis May wheat lost 12¢ to close at $8.33¾ a bu. May soybean futures were down 18½¢ to close at $14.48½ a bu. May soybean meal shed $9 to close at $451.60 per ton. May soybean oil dropped 1.60¢ to close at 54.64¢ a lb.
- Wary investors sold stocks Wednesday and major US indexes were lower as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter percentage point. Fed chairman Jerome Powell said the forward path on rates could be affected by the turmoil in the banking sector and its effects on inflation and hiring. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 530.49 points, or 1.6%, to close at 32,030.11. The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 65.90 points, or 1.6%, to end at 3,936.97. The Nasdaq Composite lost 190.15 points, or 1.6%, to close at 11,669.96.
- US crude oil prices closed higher again Wednesday, the third advance of the week. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude April contract added $1.23 to close at $70.90 per barrel.
- The US dollar index continued lower after the Federal Reserve announced a quarter-point interest rate hike.
- US gold futures prices advanced Wednesday, the April contract up $8.50 to $1,949.60 per oz, as investors sought lest risky options.
Recap for March 21
- US wheat, corn, soybean and soybean oil futures closed lower on Tuesday. Anticipation of a 25-basis-point interest rate hike after the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting ends Wednesday was a pressuring factor across all markets. Wheat and corn also were pressured by anticipated strong exports from the Black Sea region after the safe grain export agreement was renewed by Russia and Ukraine over the weekend. Added pressure on soybean futures came from expectations of a large Brazilian soybean crop for which harvest was underway. May corn dropped 3¢ to close at $6.30 a bu. Chicago May wheat dropped 17½¢ to close at $6.83¼ a bu. Kansas City May wheat lost 9½¢ to settle at $8.20¼ a bu. Minneapolis May wheat lost 5¾¢ to close at $8.45¾ a bu. May soybean futures fell 19¢ to close at $14.67 a bu. May soybean meal shed $2.10 to close at $460.60 per ton, but later months were mixed. May soybean oil tumbled 1.75¢ to close at 56.24¢ a lb.
- US equity indexes posted solid gains for a second consecutive day Tuesday as fears about the banking sector eased, and the market awaited results from a two-day Federal Reserve meeting that ends Wednesday, hoping for a smaller interest rate hike than in recent months. Energy, consumer discretionary and financial/banking sectors led the way higher today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 316.02 points, or 0.98%, to close at 32,560.60. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 51.3 points, or 1.3%, to close 4,002.87. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 184.57 points, or 1.58, to close at 11,860.11.
- US crude oil prices closed higher again on Tuesday amid easing concerns about the banking markets and economic conditions in general. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude April contract added $1.69 to close at $69.33 per barrel.
- The US dollar index declined amid improving economic signals, but losses were pared as the market awaited Wednesday’s Federal Reserve interest rate news (hike).
- US gold futures prices declined sharply Tuesday as traders became less risk averse amid improving signals in the banking sector. April gold fell $41.70, closing at $1,941.10 per oz.
Recap for March 20
- US wheat futures declined after Russia and Ukraine renewed for another 60 days a deal to allow safe exports of grain from Black Sea ports, ensuring that low-priced competitive supplies will continue to flow out of the region at least for another two months. The export deal also pressured corn futures as Ukraine is a major global corn exporter (Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter). Soybean and soybean oil futures advanced as equities and crude oil prices turned higher, potentially boosting demand for renewable fuels. May corn eased 1¼¢ to close at $6.33 a bu. Chicago May wheat dropped 9¾¢ to close at $7.00¾ a bu. Kansas City May wheat lost 6¢ to settle at $8.29¾ a bu. Minneapolis May wheat lost 9¼¢ to close at $8.51½ a bu. May soybeans gained 9½¢ to close at $14.86 a bu. May soybean meal shed $3.30 to close at $462.70 per ton. May soybean oil was up 0.53¢ to close at 57.99¢ a lb.
- US equity markets overcame concerns about banking stability and economic jitters that sent values lower early to close solidly higher. Bank shares were in focus as Swiss banking giant UBS took over troubled rival Credit Suisse in a move that it was hoped would add stability to the troubled banking sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 382.60 points, or 1.2%, to close at 32,244.58. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 34.93, or 0.9%, to close 3,951.57. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 42.02 points, or 0.4%, to close at 11,675.54.
- US crude oil prices closed more than 1% higher along with equities amid banking and economic jitters that pressured crude oil values to multi-month lows in early trading. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude April contract added $0.90 to close at $66.64 per barrel.
- The US dollar index declined to start the week amid widespread market jitters followed by recovery in several key markets.
- US gold futures prices advanced as the value of the dollar weakened. April gold rose $9.30, closing at $1,982.80 per oz.