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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade and opening calls:
Corn: 1 to 2 cents higher. It's the start of a new month and November was very tough on market bulls. The U.S. dollar index is poised for this to be a solid start for the corn market, but without fresh demand news, buyers are hesitant. Basis continues better than the 3-year average thanks to farmers' tight hold on their grain, so once demand improves (and it will), the atmosphere will be ripe for buyers.
Soybeans: 6 to 8 cents higher. Futures were given a big dose of positive news yesterday and posted a mid-range close to trim early gains. End-of-the-month position squaring limited buying interest, but today is the start of a new month. Bulls have a lot of work ahead of them to turn the trend around, but if the U.S. dollar index continues to soften amid a more coordinated effort globally to improve the flow of money, it should help secure a near-term low.
Wheat: 2 to 5 cents higher. Wheat saw light buying overnight from dollar weakness, but March Chicago wheat wasn't able to garner enough buying to move above yesterday's high. A return above $6.40 would signal a near-term low is in the works. Wheat is a value buy compared to corn, but without fresh demand news, there's been little interest in returning the spread to a more traditional level.
Live cattle: Mixed. Futures saw a big boost yesterday from sharp gains in the U.S. stock market, but price action is expected to be choppy today as traders wait on cash trade to develop. Early trade has been at the top of last week's higher range, but bidding in the Plains has been limited so far this week.
Lean Hogs: Steady to weaker. Futures are vulnerable to profit-taking after yesterday's gains due to sharp weakness in the pork cutout market. Packers saw profit margins trimmed substantially yesterday as pork cutout values dropped $2.10 on lighter movement. As a result, the cash market is expected to be steady to weaker today amid lighter demand for hogs (although they have been cutting in the black for quite some time and have built in some cushion).