Corn Exports Down|
After the U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Thursday showed corn exports
down 82% from previous week, corn futures retreated from an intraday record high
and 77% from the four-week average.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for September delivery (CBC:CU2), the
front-month contract, gained 3 cents or 0.3%, to $7.98 a bushel. Corn had
earlier traded as high as $8.17 a bushel, on the session. Corn ended at a
settlement record on Wednesday, at $7.95 a bushel.
As disappointment with the testimony of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke dragged prices lower, gold lost $21 in the past three sessions. On
Thursday, gold futures settled higher, breaking a three-day losing streak as
investors were back to the metal amid nervousness about the Middle East, a rally
for oil and a modestly weaker dollar. On the Comex division of the New York
Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery (CNS:GCQ2) added $9.60, or 0.6%,
to settle at $1,580.40 an ounce.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that U.S. jobless claims surged higher by
34,000 last week to 386,000, reversing a sharp drop in previous week, amid
typical summertime fluctuations in auto-industry employment. During summer, auto
manufacturers usually schedule brief shutdowns of plants to retool for new
models, but the timing and size of temporary layoffs can vary. Jobless claims
will be more volatile during July due to auto manufacturers layoffs. The
four-week claims average which is a more accurate barometer of labor-market
trends fell 1,500 to 375,500. Continuing jobless claims moved up by 1,000 to a
seasonally adjusted 3.31 million in the week ended July 7. Nearly 5.75 million
people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended June 30,
down 121,985 from the prior week.
The Conference Board reported Thursday that the index of leading economic
indicators fell 0.3% in June to 95.6, almost reversing the increase seen in May.
The weakness and decline in new orders was mostly contributed to consumer
confidence and building permits. "The U.S. economy is growing very slowly. The
CEI basically reflects this steady but soft pace of overall economic activity,"
said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board. The coincident index,
which reflects current conditions, rose 0.2% while the lagging index climbed
The National Association of Realtors reported a decline that goes against the
grain of more positive indicators from the housing market with the sales of
existing homes in June falling 5.4%. A contributing factor - foreclosure delays
and tough mortgage availability. June sales were at a seasonally-adjusted annual
rate of 4.37 million vs. an upwardly revised 4.62 million in May. Existing homes
sales rose 4.5%, year-over-year for the 12th straight year-on-year gain.
Initially, NAR reported a 4.55 million rate for existing homes sales, for May.
Inventories fell 3.2% to 2.39 million units which corresponds to 6.6 months of
supply at current sales rate, up from 6.4 months in May. Median existing home
sale prices climbed for a third month, rising 7.9% from year-ago levels to
$189,400 due to the mix of homes being sold, rather than re-sale price.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank reported Thursday that factory activity in
the Philadelphia region contracted for the third straight month in July.
Philadelphia Fed’s business-outlook survey improved modestly to negative 12.9 in
July from negative 16.6 in June. New orders, shipments and unfilled orders moved
off their lows hit last month but, remained in negative territory. The Federal
Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State manufacturing survey rebounded modestly
to 7.4 from 2.3 in June.
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July 19, 2012