Materials was one of the top sectors in S&P 500 (SP500) this week, ending +7.69%, and the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) +7.73%. S&P 500 tracked +5.90%, , its best weekly performance since late June.
Iron ore prices surged Friday, with futures on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange surging as much as 6.6% to their biggest gain in more than three months, as China eased some of its COVID-19 restrictions.
Analysts note, however, the tepid Chinese appetite for iron ore as steel mills have reduced production while nursing losses from weak demand partly due to a property sector slump.
Relaxed restrictions also led to other commodity prices popping, along with optimism from lighter-than-expected U.S. inflation data. China’s latest updates to COVID-19 measures may mark the beginning of the end of zero-COVID policies, suggesting the weakest point of China’s commodities demand has passed.
Weaker inflation numbers led to a rally in gold prices late in the five-week session, rising to the highest number in more than two months Thursday. December Comex gold (XAUUSD:CUR) +5.3% to $1,770.47/oz and December silver (XAGUSD:CUR) +4% to $21.67/oz, while among industrial metals, December copper (HG1:COM) +6.9% to $3.97/lb.
Take a look at this week’s top gainers among basic material stocks ($2B market cap or more), largely driven by higher gold and commodity prices:
- Gold Fields (GFI) +32.79%
- Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) +24%
- AngloGold Ashanti (AU) +22%
- Quaker Chemical (KWR) +22.08%
- Celanese Corp (CE) +19.51%
Here are the top losers among basic material stocks ($2B market cap or more):
- Braskem (BAK) -8.82%; The firm posted its Q3 performance this week.
- James Hardie Industries (JHX) -7.03%; James Hardie’s Q2 numbers fell below analysts’ expectations.
- Alpha Metallurgical Resources (AMR) -5.28%; AMR kicked off the week with lower-than-expected Q3 numbers.
- Reliance Steel & Aluminum (RS) -5.03%
- Corteva (CTVA) -3.63%
Other materials ETFs to watch: iShares Global Timber & Forestry ETF (WOOD), Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF, Vanguard Materials ETF (VAW), iShares Global Materials ETF (MXI), SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME), VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners ETF (RING), Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX).
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