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LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle futures down on technicals, beef prices
November 30, 2017 / 11:23 PM / 15 days ago

LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle futures down on technicals, beef prices

    By Julie Ingwersen
    CHICAGO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - U.S. livestock futures ended
lower on Thursday in technically-driven selling, with live
cattle         falling over 1 percent on fund-driven
profit-taking, traders said.
    Declines in wholesale beef prices added to bearish cattle
sentiment. Choice-grade wholesale beef prices fell $1.91 to
$204.64 per cwt, a factor that helped drive the most-active CME
February live cattle contract        down to a 1-1/2-week low at
123.600 cents per pound.           
    February live cattle        ended down 1.625 cents at
124.975 cents per pound and December cattle        fell 0.575
cent at 119.900 cents.
    CME January feeder cattle        were down 1.400 cents to
154.175 cents per pound.        
    Some traders think wholesale beef prices have topped out in
the short term, suggesting retailers were winding down purchases
of higher-end cuts that sell well during the year-end holidays.
    But cattle futures pared losses after higher trades in U.S.
Plains cash cattle markets. Fed cattle traded in Texas and
Kansas at $121 per cwt, about $3 higher than last week.
            
    "Early on in the day, it was month-end profit-taking and a
lack of news ... It was algorithmic trading, without any real
substance or reason," a cattle futures trader said, adding:
"When the (cash) bids started to pop up, the futures started to
come back."
    Hog futures fell for a second straight day, despite higher
cash prices in the top market of Iowa and southern Minnesota.
    Some traders noted follow-through technical selling after
Wednesday's weak close, in which February lean hogs        ended
lower after climbing to a three-week high.
    Commodity funds hold a net long position in lean hog, live
cattle and feeder cattle futures, leaving the markets vulnerable
to bouts of long liquidation.
    Most-active CME February hogs        settled down 1.125
cents at 69.775 cents per pound while December hogs        were
down 0.800 cent to 64.275 cents.

 (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen and Michael Hirtzer, editing by G
Crosse)
  

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