Lean-hog futures finished mixed, having lost steam during the session as traders weighed rising corn futures against signs of tighter-than-expected supplies of hogs ready for slaughter. August hogs gained 65 to close at 93.75, October hogs lost 20 to finish at 79.70
Losses in U.S. cattle futures deepened during Friday's session and both complexes closed sharply lower following further gains in corn futures, with live cattle also pressured by their fat premium to the latest cash-cattle prices. Feeder-cattle futures eventually fell by their 300 point exchange-imposed limit and never recovered. August feeders closed at $136, Live cattle futures for August lost 100 to close at $118.
U.S. soybean futures closed at record highs Friday, as traders continue to price in the risk of additional crop losses from a U.S. drought. Soybean futures were the leader of the CBOT grain complex. Investors are worried about declining yield and supply potential, as the U.S. crop enters its crucial reproductive phase under stress from heat and dryness. August soybeans gained 23 3/4 to $17.57.
Separately, spot corn futures settled at a record high, as traders acknowledge corn yield losses are irreversible from the U.S. drought. Wheat futures ended higher, supported by strength from corn and worries about European wheat production. September corn ended up 16 3/4 at $8.24, September wheat in Chicago rose 8 1/2 to $9.43, and September wheat in KC closed up 3 at $9.41.
Cotton futures ticked higher Friday but continued to run into resistance just above 73c/pound. The market had been supported during the week by the delayed monsoon in India, a rally in other US row crops plus news that China won't be releasing any state reserves. October cotton gained 27 to close at $72.06, and new crop December closed at $72.94, up 31.
Gold futures locked in a gain Friday as some investors purchased the hard asset on concerns that rising grain prices would herald a period of higher inflation. August ended up $2.40 at $1,582.80, and September silver closed at $27.30, up 8.5 cents
Crude prices retreated Friday from a multiday rally on profit-taking, a stronger dollar and revived concerns about the euro zone. August crude futures closed at $91.44, down $1.22, Front-month gasoline gained a fraction to $2.94 a gallon, and Front-month distillates fell 2.27 cents to $2.92 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures pushed above $3 Friday for the first time in more than six months, as ongoing hot temperatures are expected to support demand for gas-powered electricity. August nat gas gained 8.2 cents, to $3.08.
On Wall Street stocks fell on Friday after a Spanish region asked Madrid for financial aid, rekindling fears about Europe's debt crisis and prompting traders to cash in three days of gains. The Dow lost 120 to close at 12,822, the Nasdaq closed at 2,925 down 40, and the S&P 500 fell 13 to 1,362.