Market Recap: Grains & Oilseeds Gain on Weaker Dollar

U.S. lean hog futures fell Friday, ending lower on the government's monthly cold storage report and worries about demand. April lean hogs closed down 37 at 85.02, the May contract fell 35 to $93.75.

Live cattle futures ended lower, falling to a six-week low before trimming declines. The market's slide to fresh lows, driven in part by demand concerns, triggered pre-set sell orders and more speculative liquidation. April live cattle ended down 75 to $124, April feeder cattle ended down 117 to $152.

US wheat futures ended higher, attributed to speculative short covering ahead of the weekend and this week's key government crop reports encouraging traders to reduce risk exposure in the market. May wheat in Chicago ended up 8 at $6.54 and May wheat in KC ended up 10 1/2 at $6.94.

US corn futures ended higher, fueled by speculative buying tied to a weaker US dollar and spillover support from strong gains in soybean futures. May corn ended up 2 at $6.46.

US soybean futures ended higher, boosted by concerns about possible low US plantings and tighter supplies than expected. May soybeans ended up 16 1/4 at $13.65, May soy meal rose $2.90 to $373, and May soy oil ended up 92 to 54.88.

Cotton futures eked out a positive close, supported by the weaker US dollar. May cotton gained 5 to 89.63, the July contract gained 4 to 90.27.

Gold futures settled higher Friday, mirroring gains in crude oil amid worries about Iran and as a weaker dollar fanned interest in gold among investors using other currencies.  April gold gained $19.90, to $1,662.40, May silver closed at $32.27, up 92.7 cents.

Oil futures rose  Friday following a report that Iran had reduced its oil exports, as worries about supply disruptions continue to roil the oil markets. June crude gained $1.52 to $106.87 a barrel, April gasoline jumped 4.56 cents to $3.38 a gallon, and April distillates gained 3.14 cents to $3.21 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures settled fractionally higher Friday, but were 2.2% lower on the week and near 10-year lows. April nat gas closed virtually unchanged at $2.22.

On Wall Street, Stocks rose in light volume on Friday, boosted by rising energy and basic materials shares, and the S&P 500 continued to show resilience even as it posted its second negative week so far this year. The Dow finished the week up 34 to end unofficially at 13,080, the S & P 500 closed at 1,397 up 4.33, and the Nasdaq gained 4.60 to close at 3,067. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.