Livestock Futures Let Go of Gains

Cattle futures reversed early-session gains to settle lower on Friday, pressured by profit-taking after demand optimism sent prices to their highest levels in nearly four months.

February live-cattle futures fell 32 to $137, after hitting their highest price since November 4 on Thursday, April slid 35 to $137, and Feeder-cattle futures for March dropped 45 to $158.

Hog futures also settled narrowly lower on signs of weakening demand for pork, as supplies in cold-storage freezers available to retailers have swelled to record levels. April hog futures slid 27 to 70.85, Other contracts were narrowly lower.

Grain and soybeans futures declined on Friday, amid a stronger U.S. dollar and federal projections for growing domestic stockpiles for some crops.

Soybeans slid to a seven-year low, buffeted by harvest progress in Brazil and intense export competition from South America. Corn declined to an almost seven-week low, weighed down by a robust dollar and federal projections for growing stockpiles in the coming year. Wheat declined, pressured by strength in the dollar and federal forecasts for growing U.S. wheat supplies.

March Soybeans dropped 4 to $8.55, March corn fell 1 to $3.54,
March Chicago wheat dropped 1 3/4 to $4.52,and March KC wheat dropped 3 ¾ to $4.42.

Cotton futures slid into the weekend with the May contract falling 23 to 57.53, and the July contract dropping 28 to 57.33.

Gold futures fell Friday as the U.S. dollar, oil prices and equities around the world sapped the precious metal’s haven appeal.  April gold fell $14.00 to $1,224.80, and March silver closed at $14.74, down 43 cents.

Oil futures fell Friday as traders weighed the near-term oversupply of crude against expectations of lower production around the world.
April crude dropped 29 cents to $32.78 a barrel, Gasoline futures settled down 3.94 cents at $1.01 a gallon, and Diesel futures fell 1.88 cents to $1.05 a gallon.

Natural-gas prices rebounded Friday from a 17-year low, but concerns about the heavily oversupplied market capped gains.  Natural gas futures for April gained a fraction to $1.79

On Wall Street stocks ended lower on Friday in a feeble end to a beefy week after concerns about the timing of future interest rate hikes offset gains in materials and energy stocks.  The Dow fell 57 to 16,639, the Nasdaq closed at 4,590, up 8 and the S&P 500 dropped 3 to 1,948.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.