For a second day running, Chicago Mercantile Exchange hogs futures Friday closed higher on cash-hog price optimism and the stock market's upward charge ahead of the Labor Day holiday. Live cattle contracts at the CME posted an uneven finish while feeder cattle settled lower. Spot October hogs ended at 77.20 cents a pound, up 0.77 cent, or 1.0%. Pit-traded CME pork belly futures were unquoted throughout the session. October through February floor-traded CME live cattle ended flat to lower on profit-taking. Remaining contracts finished firm due to CBOT corn's run up and equities' gains.
Spot October live cattle settled unchanged at 98.45 cents. CME feeder cattle futures ended lower on profit-taking and CBOT corn's jump. Costly corn is bearish for feeder cattle futures because it could spell higher input costs for cattle feeders. Spot September feeder cattle closed off 0.57 cent, or 0.5%, at 114.17 cents.
Wheat prices climbed for the third straight day as U.S. sellers continued to strike major deals with the world's top importers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday said U.S. exporters had sold 110,000 tons of hard red winter wheat to Egypt, the world's biggest buyer, and 275,000 tons to undisclosed destinations. Soft red winter wheat for December delivery closed up 27 1/2 cents, or 3.9%, at $7.41 1/4 a bushel, up 6.7% on the week. KCBT December wheat surged 25 1/2 cents, or 3.5%, to $7.57 3/4 a bushel, up 6.1% on the week. MGE December wheat advanced 23 1/4 cents, or 3.2%, to $7.58 1/4, up 6.4% on the week.
Soybean prices touched a 2.5-week high Friday and rallied in an attempt to keep pace with surging grain prices. Soybeans for November delivery closed 26 cents, or 2.6%, higher at $10.35 a bushel, up 9 cents on the week, on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy product prices climbed with soybeans on spillover support and technical buying. Soymeal for December delivery closed up $7.20, or 2.4%, at $303.30 a short ton on the CBOT. Soyoil for December delivery was up 0.66 cent, or 1.6%, at 40.86 cents a pound.
Dec cotton posted slight losses Friday on mild profit-taking ahead of the holiday weekend. Dec cotton edged to a new two-year peak of 89.95 cents before losing ground near the close. Most active Dec cotton lost 0.04 cent, or 0.04%, to 89.45 cents a pound.
Crude futures ended lower Friday after a report showed growth in the U.S. service sector slowed last month. Light, sweet crude for October delivery settled 42 cents, or 0.6%, lower at $74.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Front-month October reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, settled 0.21 cent, or 0.1%, lower at $1.9195 a gallon. October heating oil settled 0.50 cent, or 0.2%, lower at $2.0573 a gallon.
Natural gas futures jumped 5% Friday on short covering ahead of the U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend amid the lingering threat of hurricane-related production disruptions. Natural gas for October delivery rose 18.8 cents, or 5%, to $3.939 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold futures lost ground Friday as a stronger-than-expected jobs report from the U.S. dulled some of the metal's safe-haven allure, but a weaker dollar checked those losses. The most actively traded gold contract, for December delivery, fell $2.30, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,251.10 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Comex December silver finished 1.4% higher after hitting its strongest point since July 2008.
Another solid day on Wall Street with the Dow up 127 at close at 10447, NASDAQ closed at 2233, up 33, and the S&P 500 closed the week at 1104, up 14.