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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:20 a.m. CT:
Corn: Mixed. Corn is narrowly mixed, seeing choppy trade and not straying too far from unchanged. Strength in the dollar index is limiting buying to short-covering. Traders expect this morning's weekly export sales data to reflect lackluster demand -- especially around the holidays.
Soybeans: Mixed. Futures have favored a firmer tone in overnight trade, but have weakened early this morning due to strength in the dollar index. Traders look for this morning's weekly export sales data to reflect a dramatic slowdown in sales as it will reflect some cancellations from China and lackluster demand around the holidays.
Wheat: Mixed. Futures haven't strayed too far from unchanged as wheat traders keep a close eye on neighboring pits and outside markets. A surging dollar index is making traders cautious to do more than cover short positions. Wheat needs a dose of fresh export news, but they don't look for this morning's weekly export sales data to reflect improved demand.
Live cattle: Higher. Live cattle are expected to benefit from strength in the beef market, which is lifting cash expectations. Choice beef values improved 97 cents yesterday, with Select up 66 cents on improved movement of 211 loads. Packers are expected to raise bids today to get cash cattle trade started. Gains in futures could be limited by the premium futures already hold to last week's cash trade.
Lean hogs: Higher. Pork cutout values surged $1.71 yesterday on very strong movement of 121.46 loads, which should support futures as traders expect improved pork demand to lift packers' demand for cash hogs. The cash hog market is expected to be mostly steady, as packers' margins remain slightly in the red. Gains in futures should also be limited by the premium nearbys hold to the cash index.