Hog Futures Continue Rally

Tight hog supplies and optimism about U.S. exports continue to fuel U.S. lean hog futures, which extended their rally Friday. CME lean hogs for June settled up 0.825 cent, or 0.8%, to 98.125 cents a pound, while July hogs closed up 0.375 cent, or 0.4%, to 96.2 cents. Both contracts are at four-month highs.

Live cattle futures ended lower, continuing the market's recent sideways trend, as pessimism about beef demand hangs over the market. CME June live cattle ended down 0.325 cent, or 0.3%, to $1.20125 a pound. Feeder cattle were also lower, with the August contract falling 1.025 cent, or 0.7%, to $1.43625 a pound

Wheat futures ended lower after a volatile day of trading. Wheat traders are waiting for more news that could affect the outlook for supply and demand of wheat. They are also balancing concerns about planting delays for spring wheat against expectations for ample world wheat supplies this year. CBOT July wheat futures fell 1 1/2 cents or 0.2% to $6.96 1/4 a bushel. KCBT July wheat fell 3 1/2 cents or 0.5% to $7.35 a bushel. MGEX July wheat fell 1/2 cent or 0.1% to $8.19 3/4 a bushel.

Corn futures rose, as wet weather still has some traders worried about planting delays for the portion of the crop that hasn't been seeded yet. Others are concerned about cool temperatures reducing the health of some corn crops that have already been planted. July corn futures rose 3 cents or 0.5% to $6.66 1/4 a bushel.

Cotton futures were clinging to positive territory on Friday after U.S. employment data beat expectations.
Cotton for delivery in July on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange were up 0.2% at 85 cents a pound. But prices were down from an intraday high of 85.46 cents a pound, as traders digested the figures released by the U.S. Labor Department.

Crude-oil futures settled higher Friday as investors read into the better-than-expected May U.S. nonfarm payroll data as evidence of buoyant economic conditions. Light, sweet crude for July delivery settled $1.27, or 1.34%, higher at $96.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Front-month July reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, traded 2.06 cents, or 0.72%, higher at $2.8715 a gallon. July heating oil traded 2.17 cents higher at $2.8931 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures prices barely budged higher Friday, settling near their lowest level since March 14.
The market was sapped of strength to extend a selloff and uninspired for a rally after falling 17.4 cents Thursday on news of a larger-than-expected rise in gas inventories. News from the Energy Information Administration that gas-storage levels rose by 111 billion cubic feet a week ago, more than the expected 95 bcf rise, sparked concerns about the impact of strong production levels and weak demand on near-term prices. July-delivery gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled 0.1 cent higher, the smallest possible gain, at $3.828 per million British thermal units.

Silver plunged to a 32-month low Friday, while gold fell to a 10-day low, as investors worried that a brighter U.S. employment picture would lead the Federal Reserve to reduce its bond purchases. Silver for July delivery, the most active contract, fell 96.4 cents, or 4.3%, to settle at $21.743 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. This was the lowest settlement since October 2010.

Gold for August delivery fell $32.80, or 2.3%, to settle at $1,383 a troy ounce.

Both precious metals have been under pressure in recent months, as brighter economic data stoked fears that the Fed would curtail its easy-money policies and remove the perceived threat of higher inflation.

Steady growth in hiring last month sent the stock market sharply higher Friday. The report gave a boost to stock market bulls, who expect the Fed to keep up its stimulus program as the U.S. economy continues to recover moderately.  The Dow Jones Industrial average soared 207 points Friday for a closing mark of 15248. Nasdaq was up 45 at the bell at 1469. The S&P shot up 20 points to end the week at 1643.


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