August gold (COMEX:GCN14) closed at $1,277.40, up $3.40 and its highest close since May 23. The turmoil in Iraq with continuing successes by the terrorists towards their goal of Baghdad and implementing their "Sharia law" continues to concern the market place and provides the impetus for some movement to precious metals. July silver (COMEX:SIN14) closed at $19.655 per ounce, up 12c following gold. For the week silver gained nearly 3.5% and gained percentagewise against gold. We continue to prefer silver to gold for those that must have a precious metal in their portfolio. July platinum closed at $1,435 per ounce, down $6.30 with September palladium losing $5.00 to close at $814.40 per ounce. We prefer the sidelines while we continue to favor palladium over platinum.
Grains and Oilseeds
Corn (CBOT:CN14) closed at $4.47 ½ per bushel, up 3 1/2c on shortcovering in front of the weekend. The higher than expected USDA monthly crop report was bearish for corn and prompted continued selling early in the week. We prefer the sidelines in corn. July wheat closed unchanged at $5.85 ¼ per bushel also on increased estimates for production. We are on the sidelines here as well. Soybeans (CBOT:SNN14) closed at $14.26 ¾ per bushel up 11 1/2c also on shortcovering after the USDA report indicating higher world stock expectations. We do like soybeans from here but use stop protection.
August cattle (CBOT:CN14) closed at $1.46825 per pound, up 17.75c on continued bullish trend trading and tied to come concerns over "hoof and mouth" disease spreading. We could see higher prices but retail resistance could impede any price progress from here. August hogs closed at $1.27 per pound, up 10.75c on continued concern over disease spreading affecting piglets. We prefer the sidelines after the sharp rallies.
Coffee, Cocoa, Sugar
July coffee (NYBOT:KCN14) closed at $1.7435, up 2.4c or 1.4% on Friday on shortcovering after recent weakness. Concern over the Brazilian harvest could prompt renewed buying. We like coffee from here. July cocoa closed at $3,131 per tonne, up $46 on continued buying from the May lows around $2,800 tied to West Africa and other growing area concerns. We prefer the sidelines in cocoa. July sugar closed at 17.02c up 3.2c on shortcovering tied to slow Brazilian output, but we continue to view sugar as "sideways" with no real determinations for possible direction. It remains on our "no interest" list.