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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:35 a.m. CT:
Corn: 9 to 12 cents lower. The February break deepened overnight as corn is void of fresh demand news that is badly needed to secure a near-term low. March corn closed back below the $7.00 yesterday, which has been associated with a flurry of fresh demand in the past. Corn has moved into oversold territory according to the 9-day Relative Strength Index, which signals a time or price correction is due.
Soybeans: 9 to 12 cents lower. Soybean futures are seeing followthrough from yesterday's losses and are working on the fourth straight day of sharp losses. Without fresh demand news from China as the county celebrates its new year and an improved near-term outlook for southern Brazil, traders are opting to limit their long exposure to the market. March soybeans are approaching some key levels technically. First is the psychological $14.00 level and next is uptrending support drawn off the June 2012 and January 2013 lows, which currently intersects at $13.70.
Wheat: 5 to 7 cents lower. Chicago and Kansas City wheat futures are mostly 5 to 7 cents lower, with the Minneapolis contracts mixed. Wheat is seeing spillover from neighboring pits as well as suffering from a lack of fresh demand news. Some precip across the Southern Plains yesterday added to the negative market sentiment, but traders recognize the region has a long ways to go in order to cure the long-term drought. March Chicago wheat futures have done more technical chart damage this week and appear headed for a test of the June low of $6.69 1/4.
Live cattle: Steady to lower. Futures are expected to see followthrough from yesterday's losses, but the market is due for some short-covering. Cash cattle trade got underway at $123 yesterday, which is down $2 from the previous week. February live cattle are trading at around a $3 premium to the cash index, which raises the risk of additional near-term pressure. But the boxed beef market firmed yesterday, which raises ideas the market is working on a near-term low. Choice values improved 73 cents and Select rose 15 cents on decent movement of 169 loads.
Lean hogs: Steady to firmer. Futures are due for some short-covering and should find support from yesterday's 93-cent improvement in the pork cutout market. Packers say profit margins improve yesterday, but they still remain in the red. As a result, the cash market is expected to be steady to weaker again today. February lean hogs are trading at around a $2 discount to the cash index and the contract expires tomorrow at noon CT.