Commodities slump on firm dollar

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Corn futures settled lower on Friday. Encouraging U.S. jobs data pushed the dollar index higher which in turn sparked steep sell offs across risky commodities. Corn futures were also pressured by sharp losses in the soybean market and weak export sales. Weekly export sales totaled 167,900 tonnes, higher than the previous week’s sales but still on the low end of trade expectations. December corn futures settled 10 ½ cents lower.

Soybean futures settled sharply lower on Friday. Soybean futures extended losses as the dollar index gain strength on positive U.S. jobs growth. The dollar index increased approximately 0.67 percent, provoking investors to rid portfolios of risky assets. Although futures settled lower weekly export sales were higher than expected at 741,200 tonnes. November soybeans settled 31 ½ cents lower.

Wheat futures settled mixed but mostly lower on Friday. Wheat futures were trading marginally higher at midday despite solid losses in the corn and soybean markets but futures eventually turned lower as the dollar index gained momentum. Weekly export sales totaled 362,900 tonnes, a little bit higher than the lower range of trade expectations. December wheat futures at CBOT settled 2 cents lower; KCBT settled ¼ cent higher; and MGE settled 3 cents lower.

Live cattle futures closed mixed but mostly lower on Friday. Front month December contract pushed above unchanged despite developing pressured in deferred contracts. Market prices were pressured mostly by eroding boxed beef prices, cash market weakness, and poor export demand. Midday boxed beef prices were reported lower for both choice and select cutouts. USDA reported beef exports down 12 percent from the previous week at 14,600 tonnes. December cattle futures closed 10 cents higher.

Lean hog futures closed mostly lower on Friday. Hog futures edged lower as the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy curbs demand for meat consumption. The market was also adversely affected by technical selling and mixed demand for pork cutouts. Low cash prices coupled with poor fundamentals were also bearish for the prices today. December hog futures settled 13 cents lower.

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