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Morning markets: hogs stumble while sugar sweetens

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Hogs put the dampener on what otherwise looked a bright day in financial and commodity markets, hitting their lowest for more than six years.

Longstanding concerns of a weak demand for pork, coupled with data showing a rise in animal weights, if not numbers, sent Chicago hogs lower once more on Wednesday.

The latest US Department of Agriculture supply and demand report did little to help sentiment, raising estimates for pork production but not exports.

The August contract touched 47.875 cents a pound, its lowest for more than six years, before recovering some ground to stand at 48.100 cents a pound at 17:00 GMT, down 0.075 cents on the day.

Widespread rallies

Hogs were something of an exception to what was generally a good day for, long, investors.

Equities were strong, helped by bargain hunting after two days of selling, with London, European and New York shares adding 1% or more.

That helped oil jump 1.7% to $70.63 a barrel, for New York's September light crude contract, despite data showing a rise in US oil inventories.

And Chicago crops reacted better than many traders had feared following what had appeared a bearish USDA supply and demand report.

Sugar on the rise, again

Softs, too, made fresh headway, with New York raw sugar setting a new 28-year high of 22.65 cents a pound for October delivery as fears for global supplies linger.

London white sugar for October hit a fresh all time high of $572 a tonne before retreating to close at $570.9 a tonne, up 2.0% on the day.

Among latest news, Unica, Brazil's sugar cane industry association, reported a decline in crushing in the second half of July, blaming heavy rains that slowed harvesting.

Meanwhile, Pakistan said it was likely to become a sugar importer following a drop to 3m tonnes in production forecast for 2009-10, down 200,000 tonnes year on year.


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