Cattle futures ended the week sharply lower as hedge funds and other speculative investors unwound optimistic bets.
Futures traders spent much of the week anticipating higher cash prices for physical cattle. But higher cash prices did little to stem the selling in the futures market. Much of the selling pressure came as money managers, who are holding a large net long position in the live cattle market, reacted to chart patterns suggesting that prices were headed lower
Hog futures rose. That market has traded sideways this week despite rising cash and wholesale pork prices. Hog futures could also be succumbing to some of the speculative selling that has weighed on the cattle market
December live cattle futures fell 267 to $117, the February contract closed limit down at $121, and January feeders fell 385 to $150.
December lean hog gained 100 to 65.27, and February gained 95 t 70.72.
Grain and soybean futures turned higher on Friday, bolstered by a wave of speculative interest.
Mounting concerns about excessively dry weather in Argentina, a threat to the country’s growing corn and soybean crops, sparking buying.
The Commodity Weather Group said that scattered rains over the weekend would reach up to half of the country’s corn and oilseed, but that would mostly give way to dryness. Around a quarter to a third of Argentine crops were at most imminent risk of moisture stress. For money managers holding bets that grain prices would fall, Friday’s weather forecasts proved an opportune moment to unwind some of those positions at the Chicago Board of Trade.
December corn rose 3 to $3.44, January soybeans climbed 8 ½ to $9.94, December Chicago wheat gained 5 ¼ to $4.14, and December KC wheat gained 6 to $4.20.
Cotton futures ended the week on a high note with the March contract gaining 47 to 73.28, and May gained 29 to 73.77.
Oil prices rose Friday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other big producers including Russia agreed to keep limiting their output through the end of 2018. In Vienna on Thursday, OPEC and its allies agreed to extend production cuts first agreed a year ago by a further nine months. The deal to reduce global supply by nearly 2% — in an effort to rein in a supply glut and boost prices — had been set to expire in March 2018. January crude oil gained 83 cents to $58.23 a barrel, January gasoline gained 1 cent to $1.74 a gallon, and January diesel gained 4 cents to $1.94 a gallon.
Natural gas futures rose Friday, regaining some ground after a sharp selloff the previous day, amid forecasts of colder weather. January nat gas gained 4 cents to $3.06.
Stocks on Wall Street fell on Friday, whipsawed by developments with a probe into Russia’s alleged involvement in the U.S. election as well as with progress on a tax bill in Congress. The Dow fell 40 to 24,231, the Nasdaq closed at 6,847, down 26 and the S&P 500 fell 5 to 2,542.