Smart money chased gold prices higher all week in “flight to quality” buying. The move was fueled by geopolitical fears, continuing ultralow interest rates, the trade dispute with China, and thoughts that Washington will allow bigger and bigger deficits.

The escalation of tension in the Persian Gulf region grabbed the attention of both “gold bugs” and conservative investors looking for a safe haven alternative to the equity markets, which were on the decline.

As a result, gold has run up nearly $90 per ounce during the last month.

Wet weather spurs increase in corn prices

Millions of acres have gone unplanted as the dry weather so desperately needed by Midwest corn farmers never came. Though some farmers are switching to plant soybeans, many in the Eastern Corn Belt never turned a wheel in the field and could only watch their fertilizer waste away with hopes for sunshine.

Those who got planted were thrilled to see prices zoom ahead by another 25 cents per bushel this week to $4.60 by Friday.

Our heart goes out to those who couldn’t plant.

Bad weather for grilling pushes down livestock prices

The same factors that drove grain prices up pushed livestock prices lower. Few grills got fired up this week, so steaks, hot dogs and chops sat in the fridge, leaving demand and prices on the down trend.

June cattle were worth $1.09 per pound while June hogs traded at $0.79 per pound.

Oil sinks to near yearly low amid supply inventory in U.S.

A whopping 2.2 million barrel increase in crude oil inventories depressed prices below $51 per barrel on Wednesday, near the lowest level on the year.

However, when the news struck of an attack on two tankers in the gulf of Oman, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assigned the blame to Iran, causing prices to bounce briefly on increased fears of war.

Ultimately, sagging global demand and the huge supply in the U.S. stockpile overwhelmed buyers and sank prices toward the lows by week’s end, trading near $52.75 per barrel midday Friday.

Walt and Alex Breitinger are commodity futures brokers in Silver Lake, Kansas. They can be reached at 800-411-3888 or www.paragoninvestments.com.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.