Lean hog futures were lifted by a sharp rise in pork prices late Thursday that more than offset government data showing a slowdown in exports. June futures rose 1% to finish at 85.30 cents a pound, their highest closing prices in 10 days. June lean hogs gained 80 to 85.30, the July contract gained 37 to 85.15.
U.S. live cattle futures closed lower across the board on Friday as a quick fall in wholesale beef prices raised fresh concerns about the strength of beef demand. June Live Cattle closed up 7 at $115, May feeder cattle finished down 65 at $149.
U.S. soybean futures fell Friday, dropping more than 3% to a six week low, as investors liquidated positions in riskier assets amid global economic worries. July Soybeans closed down 49 1/4 to $14.06.
In other markets, corn and wheat futures slumped in unison with soybeans, with broader based investors' risk-off selling weighing on prices. Corn futures losses were also fueled by larger supply estimates from government forecasters Thursday. July corn closed down 6 1/2 at $5.81 a bushel, and December corn ended down 2 at $5.05. July wheat in Chicago dropped 4 1/4 to $5.97 and July wheat in KC rose 7 1/2 to $6.10.
The free-fall of New York cotton futures continued Friday, after US government forecasters estimated another record year of ending stockpiles of the fiber for the 2012-13 season, starting Aug 1. July cotton fell 285 to 79.87, the October contract dropped 312 to 78.48.
Gold set a fresh 2012 low on Friday as investor demand for the dollar and mild U.S. inflation left less interest in the precious metal as an alternative asset. June gold fell $11.50 to $1,584.00 and June silver fell 28 to $28.86.
Crude-oil futures settled lower a spate of negative news Friday, including word of ample crude supply, discouraging signs for economic growth and revelations of a $2 billon trading loss at JPMorgan. June crude closed at $96.13 95 cents, June gasoline closed at $3.00 a gallon, and June distillates closed at $2.96 a gallon.
Natural gas futures advanced to a fresh two-month high Friday in a week-long rally driven by expectations that demand in the beaten-down market is on the rise. June Natural gas gained 2.2 cents to $2.50.
Global stocks retreated on Friday as uncertainty over Europe's festering debt crisis overcame an early bounce driven by better-than-expected U.S. consumer sentiment, while oil prices fell after weak data from China reduced demand expectations. The Dow lost 34 to end the week at 12,820, the Nasdaq closed at 2,933, up a fraction, and the S&P 500 fell 4 to close at 1,353.