Wheat Futures Gain on Relentless Rains in the EU
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U.S. live-cattle futures got a boost Friday from short-covering after a sharp slide across the livestock markets this week. A jump in prices processors paid for supplies in the cash markets over the course of the week also supported futures. August live-cattle gained 60 to $150, October live-cattle rose 40 to $147, and August feeder-cattle climbed 210 to $217.

Hog futures, meanwhile, ended mixed, facing some pressure from a steady decline in cash prices as supplies have grown. October hog futures slid 30 to 94.95, December hogs gained 130 cents to 89.05.

Wheat rose to the highest in more than a week as continuing rain in parts of Europe will further delay the harvest, reduce crop quality and possibly drive buyers to the U.S., and on concern that tensions are flaring up between Ukraine and Russia.

September Chicago wheat rose 14 to $5.51, September KC wheat gained 11 ¾ to $6.19, September corn rose 3 3/4 to $3.65, and September soybeans rose 4 1/4 to $11.02

Cotton futures continued to slide on Friday with the largest crop in years expected from the southern US as well as poor export sales creating what is perceived among traders as a global glut of the fiber.  October cotton slipped 29 to 63.60, and December new crop fell 32 to 64.65.

Gold prices fell to the lowest level in nearly two weeks on Friday as signs of health in the U.S. economy outweighed news of a skirmish near the Ukraine-Russia border.  December Gold fell $9.50 to $1,306.20, and September silver closed at $19.52, down 38.1 cents.

Crude oil futures rose on Friday, after Ukraine said its artillery destroyed a large part of a column of armored vehicles seen entering Ukraine from Russia. September crude gained $1.77 to $97.35 a barrel, September gasoline gained 3.2 cents to $2.69, and September diesel rose 2.85 cents to $2.84

Natural-gas futures fell more than 3% on Friday after weather forecasts turned cool through the end of August, capping a season of tepid summer temperatures that have tempered demand for the fuel. September nat gas fell 13 cents to $3.77.

On Wall Street the S&P 500 finished nearly flat on Friday after a morning slide as concerns about Ukraine were offset by late-day buying. The three major U.S stock indexes ended higher for the week.  The Dow fell 50 to end the week at 16,662, the Nasdaq closed at 4,464, up 11 and the S&P 500 closed virtually unchanged at 1,955.

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.

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