Lean hog futures Friday settled higher, reflecting a slight firmness in cash markets and hopes for a surge in export business as the U.S. dollar weakened and on sharply higher corn prices.
Cattle ended higher but off their highs as traders fretted that this week's steep drop had changed investor psychology about ever-higher beef and cattle prices.
The April contract settled at 88.32 cents a pound, up 0.17 cent, or 0.19%, on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. May was up 1.70 cent, or 1.76%, at 98.35 cents.
Higher corn prices and easing economic tensions globally were cited for commodity and stock-market strength after the G-7 voted to intervene on the Yen's behalf. Investors felt safer moving funds into riskier investments like commodities and stocks and out of the safer investments like the U.S. dollar.
Easing of tensions in Libya also took crude off its highs, further easing economic concerns.
"Stock market prices moved higher during the day, showing economic hopes," said Tregg Cronin, market analyst at Country Hedging.
Higher corn prices also lent support to lean hog futures, traders said. The higher feed costs mean producers will need to be compensated for the extra cost.
Even though G-7 intervention to stabilize the Japanese yen was expected, the analysts said the action and the strong reception it received in equities markets brought in the renewed good feelings about world economies.
Crude oil futures declined during the day on word that Libya had declared a cease-fire in its political unrest. Traders began to feel the situation there was reaching some sort of conclusion, or at least a stalemate.
Cash hog markets remained flat throughout the week, bringing in speculation on Thursday and Friday that markets could turn higher next week as they followed futures contracts.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's pork carcass composite price rose again Thursday with the quote up $0.30 at $92.06.