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Hog Futures Decline on Signs of Weakening Demand; Cattle Rise

Hog futures fell on increasing concern that the European debt crisis will worsen, curbing demand for raw materials. Cattle rose.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 commodities slumped to an eight-week low after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there’s no easy remedy to the region’s crisis. The Federal Reserve yesterday said “strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook.” The dollar rose to an 11-month high against a basket of major currencies, curbing the appeal of U.S. exports.

“Europe is the big macro problem,” Dick Quiter, an account executive at McFarland Commodities LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The dollar is strengthening. That’s certainly not helping, along with the fact that there’s not a lot of bullish news out there in the meat market.”

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.1 percent to settle at 86.325 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price has gained 8.2 percent in 2011.

Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $1.18775 a pound in Chicago. The commodity has climbed 9.6 percent in 2011.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement were down 0.1 percent at $1.4375 a pound.

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