The S&P 500 Materials index closed this trading week in green with a marginal gain of 0.26%. The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was also up +0.51%.
Prices for copper and other industrial metals pulled back Wednesday following a resurgent U.S. dollar and renewed worries that central bank rate hikes will impact demand for metals. According to Reuters, three-month benchmark copper (HG1:COM) on the London Metal Exchange slipped 1.3% to $7,620/metric ton after earlier touching a two-week high $7,788/ton.
Most metals continued to be down on Friday in nervous trading ahead of U.S. jobs data report and after U.S. Federal Reserve officials reaffirmed their drive to crush inflation.
Gold prices, meanwhile, dipped below $1,700/oz on Friday before rebounding slightly, following a stronger than expected U.S. jobs report that continued to show a tight labor market and scuttled hopes the Federal Reserve might become less aggressive in raising interest rates. Comex gold futures (XAUUSD:CUR) for December delivery -1% at $1,703.30/oz, and December silver (XAGUSD:CUR) -2.3% at $20.17/oz.
Lumber futures (LB1:COM) managed a 5% gain for the week, settling down at $445 per thousand board feet. Prices have been trending down since March amid weak demand.
Take a look at this week’s top gainers and losers among basic material stocks ($2B market cap or more):
- Alcoa (AA) +13.57%; Shares rose as LME blocked deliveries of metals from a Russian firm.
- Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (SID) +10.44%
- Worthington Industries (WOR) +8.42%; Shares continue to be elevated since a better-than-expected Q1 report.
- Alpha Metallurgical Resources (AMR) +7.02%; The stock has been buoyed by strength in U.S. coal prices, which surged past $200/ton for the first time ever on Monday.
- Mp Materials (MP) +6.84%
The week’s top decliners among basic material stocks ($2B market cap or more) were:
- Lithium Americas (LAC) -10.65%; Shares tanked this week after a hearing was set for the Thacker Pass lithium mine case in Nevada for January.
- Quaker Chemical (KWR) -7.40%;
- Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) -4.18%
- SSR Mining (SSRM) -4.17%; The mid-tier gold and silver producer has been hurt by declining precious metal prices.
- Cabot (CBT) -4.03%
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).