February 24, 2017 / 9:56 PM / a year ago

LIVESTOCK-Profit-taking pressures cattle futures, boosts hogs

    * Live cattle about flat for week after Friday declines
    * Lean hogs down nearly 4 pct for week
    * USDA Cattle on Feed report in line with pre-report

    By Michael Hirtzer
    CHICAGO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures        were mostly lower on Friday while lean hog
futures        gained sharply as investors took profits in each
livestock contract, traders and analysts said.
    Cattle fell after Thursday's nearly four-week high and hogs
rebounded from a roughly two-month low. 
    "It's just an end-of-the-week rally," Rosenthal Collins
broker James Burns said of hogs.
    CME April lean hogs        settled 1.450 cents, or 2.4
percent, higher at 68.025 cents per pound. The contract still
shed almost 4 percent for the week, the contract's biggest
weekly loss since December.
    Weaker prices both for U.S. cash hogs and wholesale pork
weighed on the futures market for much of the week, even as U.S.
Department of Agriculture data on Thursday showed tightening
supplies of pork bellies that are sliced into bacon.
    "Everyone was anticipating the break and we got it, but I
think we took it down too hard and oversold it," Burns added.
    Cattle futures had gained for much of the week on the back
of higher prices in U.S. Plains cash cattle markets. But prices
reversed lower in a technical selloff.         
    Most-active CME April cattle        finished 1.575 cents
lower at 114.950 cents per pound, with the decline wiping out
what had been a weekly gain.
    CME March feeder cattle        tumbled nearly 2.7 percent
for their biggest daily losses since Jan. 30, finishing 3.450
cents lower at 121.700 cents per pound.
    Traders were squaring up cattle positions in advance of
USDA's monthly Cattle on Feed report released after the close of
trading. The report showed 10.782 million cattle in U.S.
feedlots as of Feb. 1. That was 101 percent of the same period
in 2016, nearly equal to analyst estimates for 100.7 percent.

 (Editing by Matthew Lewis)
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