U.S. lean-hog futures ended lower on declining wholesale pork and cash-hog prices. Sluggish pork demand is looming over the market, and traders add that supply is ample. However, a U.S. heat wave and concerns about a virus that is affecting piglets are underpinning prices. August lean hogs ended down 15 at 96.47, the October contract fell 65 to end the week at 84.97.
August live cattle ended down 12 to $1.21 as traders await the U.S. Department of Agriculture's cattle-on-feed report, released at 3 p.m. EDT, feeder-cattle ended higher, with the August contract closing up 17 at $152.
U.S. soybean futures settled higher Friday on tight current supplies and uncertainty about weather conditions for crops. Corn futures ended mixed. Traders bought nearby futures, with many exiting earlier bearish bets on prices to reduce risk ahead of the weekend. Wheat futures rose on hopes for strong export demand, after the government on Friday morning announced a private export sale of 120,000 metric tons of soft red winter wheat to China.
August soybeans settled up 21 1/2 to $14.90, September corn rose 3 to $5.44, September wheat rose 4 to $6.64, and the KC September wheat contract gained 1 ¾ to $7.04.
Cotton futures rose in thin trade on Friday, as dry weather is expected for the country's main growing region this weekend and next week. October cotton gained 153 to 86.52, and December new crop gained 133 to 86.18.
Gold futures climbed to a four-week high Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week that there was no set timetable for a wind-down of the bank's bond-buying program. August gold rose $8.70 to $1,292.90, and August silver gained 8 cents to $19.44.
U.S. oil prices settled just 2 cents below Brent crude Friday, marking the closest that the two contracts have traded in nearly three years. August crude gained 1 cent to $108.05 a barrel, August gasoline gained 1.36 cents to $3.12 a gallon, and August distillates fell 1.13 cents to $3.08 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures settled lower Friday on forecasts that the current heat wave in the Northeast and Midwest soon will yield to below-normal temperatures, cutting demand. August Natural-gas futures fell 2.3 cents to $3.78.
On Wall Street, the Nasdaq fell on Friday as disappointing results from Microsoft and Google dragged down the tech sector, but the S&P edged up to finish at a record high. The Dow fell 4 to finish the week at 15,543, the Nasdaq closed at 3,587, down 23 and the S&P gained 2 to 1,692.