U.S. lean-hog futures closed mixed on Friday, weighed down by sharp declines in wholesale pork prices, but held up in near contracts by the slight discount to the lean-hog index. December hogs finished up 25 to 80.32, February hogs also gained, adding 3 to 86.45.
U.S. live-cattle futures finished higher Friday, gaining on expectations that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly cattle-on-feed report would reveal smaller cattle supplies, which some expect to encourage a post-Thanksgiving rally. December live-cattle added 55 to $126, February contract also gained, improving by 65 to $130.
At the livestock auction held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 477 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $3.00 to $5.00 lower, feeder steers trended mixed and heifers trended $6.00 to $8.00 lower when compared to last week’s sales.
US soybean and wheat futures settled lower Friday. Soybeans were pressured by a positive outlook for South American soy crops now being planted, and by China canceling previous orders for US soybeans. Wheat futures fell on lackluster export demand, and Corn futures rose after the EPA decided to deny a request to waive its ethanol-blending mandate, removing a downside risk to corn demand. January soybeans fell 18 3/4 to $13.83, a five-month front-month low. December wheat in Chicago dropped 7 1/2 to $8.38, December wheat in KC fell 10 ½ to $8.76 and December corn gained 5 3/4 to $7.27.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 6 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.47-$8.02 at feed mills and $7.12-7.57 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 19 cents lower and were $13.68 at processors, and $13.18-$13.53 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat had no trend available. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $479.60 per ton for 48% protein.
ICE cotton futures ended lower, after climbing to a more than three-week high on expectations of strong US export sales. Once confirmed with 370,100 bales sold in the week ended Nov 8, according to the USDA report released Friday morning, futures saw a short-lived sell off, but rebounded before the close. The December contract closing unchanged at 73.96, and the March contract gained 93 to 73.17.
Gold prices gained slightly on Friday as traders who had bet on lower prices cashed out amid ongoing missile strikes between Israel and Gaza. December gold rose 90 cents to $1,714.70, and December silver closed at $32.37, down 30.4 cents
Oil futures rose more Friday, as escalating hostilities between Israel and Palestinian militants renewed fears about a broader conflict that would disrupt supplies of Mideast crude oil.
The gains came after Israel intensified its air campaign in the Gaza Strip and militants there ramped up their rocket attacks deep into Israeli cities. December crude, which expired at the close of trading Friday, gained $1.22, to $86.67 a barrel, December gasoline gained 1.39 cents to $2.71 a gallon, and December distillates gained 1.33 cents to $2.98 a gallon.
Natural gas futures jumped Friday to a fresh one-year high, spurred by signs of rising gas demand, as cold winter weather begins to arrive in the U.S. December Natural gas gained 8.7 cents to $3.72.
On Wall Street, stock markets edged higher on Friday after politicians made tentative progress in talks on avoiding tax hikes and spending cuts that would hurt the economy while escalating tensions in the Middle East boosted oil prices. The Dow gained 45 to close at 12,588, the Nasdaq closed at 2,853, up 16 and the S&P 500 gained 6 to finish the week at 1,359.