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LIVESTOCK-Live cattle futures sag for 6th straight session

By Julie Ingwersen CHICAGO, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange February live cattle futures fell Thursday for a sixth straight session, pressured by fund-driven long liquidation, falling cash cattle prices and softening wholesale beef demand, traders said. "Fund liquidation continues be a factor in the meat complex, although lower product prices are adding justification for the selling at this point," INTL FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman wrote in a note to clients. Choice-grade wholesale beef prices fell $1.32 to $205.08 per cwt. Beef demand typically tapers off at this time of year as consumers focus on shopping for Christmas gifts. Packers on Thursday paid $117 per cwt for slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle in the U.S. Plains, down from $120 to $121 a week earlier, feedlot sources said. Most-active CME February live cattle futures ended down 0.600 cent at 118.675 cents per pound. January feeder cattle ended up 0.300 cent per pound at 146.325 cents, bouncing after falling to a near three-month low of 144.900 cents. Lean hog futures fell for a third straight day, pressured by lower cash prices as packing plants slowed their hog purchases ahead of the Christmas and New Year's holidays. However, wholesale pork prices rose Thursday as grocers finalized ham purchases ahead of the holidays. Benchmark CME February lean hog futures closed 0.475 cent lower at 68.475 cents per pound. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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