U.S. grain futures shook off losses Friday, rebounding on spillover strength from a recovery in stocks and crude oil prices.
Corn for December delivery, the most-actively traded contract, closed up 1 1/2 cents, or 0.2%, at $7.03 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. The contract pushed into the green after falling as low as $6.87 a bushel. Hard red wheat futures, rice and oat futures also finished in positive territory.
Gains in external markets helped the grains strengthen as traders have been looking to oil and equities for direction amid increasing concerns about the global economy. The external markets were advancing at the close of the grains trading session but remained volatile. Earlier in the day, losses in crude oil and equities kept the grains under pressure. Grain prices tumbled in Thursday's wide-reaching rout of commodities and equities.
"Considering the volatility and weakness in outside markets, this wasn't a bad performance for corn," MF Global said in a note to clients.
The influence of external markets on the grains was elevated by a lack of other news for agricultural markets. Weather forecasts look "benign" for crops after intense heat stressed crops and boosted prices in late July, according to Barclays Capital.
Worries about the threat for further damage to the corn crop helped the market rebound, analysts said. Traders are uncertain how much damage was caused by the heat last month and waiting for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update crop estimates Thursday.
"Near-term price direction will continue to be driven by a combination of U.S. weather and the broader macro-economy," analysts for Barclays wrote.
Wheat futures trimmed losses as corn rose, with soft red winter wheat for September delivery ending down 0.4% at $6.79 a bushel. Hard red winter wheat futures for September delivery climbed 1.2% to $7.80 1/4 a bushel at the Kansas City Board of Trade, while hard red spring wheat futures jumped 0.5% to $8.27 1/2 a bushel at MGEX in Minneapolis.
Rice for September delivery gained 0.3% to $16.29 1/2 per hundredweight, and oats for September delivery ended up 1.1% at $3.35 1/4 a bushel. Ethanol for December delivery rose 2.7% to $2.585 per gallon.
Soybeans struggled to keep up, with the November contract falling 0.7% to a one-month low of $13.36 a bushel. December soymeal ended down 0.9% at $352.50 per short ton, while December soyoil dropped 0.6% to 55.55 cents a pound.