COMMODITIES : Orange Juice Futures Rise; Gold, Silver Also Advance

From Associated Press

Fears of a freeze in the Florida citrus region sparked a buying binge that sent orange juice futures soaring the limit for daily trading Friday on the Cotton Exchange in New York.

On other markets, pork futures advanced while cattle futures retreated; precious metals were higher; grains and soybeans were mixed, and energy futures were lower.

Forecasts for cold weekend weather in Florida started the orange juice rally rolling in the morning, said Judy Weissman Ganes, an analyst in New York for Shearson Lehman Bros.

The forecasts were tempered later in the morning when it appeared a freeze was unlikely, but the rally continued on rumors that Brazilian orange juice processors were set to raise their prices, she said.

The January contract for frozen concentrated orange juice, on which fluctuation limits have been removed pending the contract's expiration, settled 13.15 cents higher at $1.7565 a pound. Contracts for all other months were up the 5-cent daily limit.

Pork futures continued to advance on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in reaction to Wednesday's Agriculture Report showing a smaller than expected expansion of the nation's hog herd, said Philip Stanley, an analyst in Chicago with Thomson McKinnon Securities Inc.

Cattle futures prices retreated on profit taking and warmer temperatures, he said. The weeklong cold snap had slowed the movement of cattle to market and reduced weight gains.

Live cattle settled 0.02 cent to 0.13 cent lower, with February at 65.85 cents a pound; feeder cattle were 0.15 cent to 0.55 cent lower, with January at 78.77 cents a pound; live hogs were 0.50 cent to the limit 1.50 cents higher, with February at 45.67 cents a pound, and frozen pork bellies were 1.83 cents to the limit 2 cents higher at 56.15 cents a pound.

Gold and silver futures advanced on New York's Commodity Exchange on inflation concerns rooted in the unemployment report, said Stephen W. Platt, an analyst in Chicago with Dean Witter Reynolds.

Precious metals are a traditional hedge against inflation.

Soybeans Rally

Gold settled $2.40 to $3 higher, with March at $488.10 an ounce; silver was 5 cents to 5.2 cents higher, with March at $7.06.

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