Materials Sector Weekly Round-up: Sector sees red with steel producers at bottom

Vladimir Zapletin

Materials was the top loser this week in the S&P 500, which posted its worst weekly performance since mid-June, slumping 4.78% for the five-day session. The sector was down -6.65%, and the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) -6.62%.

Gold (XAU:USDCUR) fell to $1,662/oz, its lowest level dating back to April of 2020, during the week. Meanwhile, silver (XAGUSD:CUR) gained 4.9% at the start of the week and closed on Friday at +3.8%. This added to a recent upswing for the economy, which is now +9.3% since the end of August.

On the other hand, benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was saw a weekly drop of about 3% amid a stronger dollar and a weaker yuan. Aluminum was also down around 2.3% at $2,254 a ton.

Steel producers U.S. Steel (X) and Nucor (NUE) have come under pressure this week as well after weaker than expected Q3 estimates were released.

Take a look at this week’s top gainers among basic material stocks ($2B market cap or more):

  • Grupo Simec (SIM) +3.32%
  • Livent (LTHM) +0.91%
  • GCP Applied Technologies (GCP) -0.35%
  • Sigma Lithium (SGML) -0.47%
  • Newmont (NEM) -1.30%

The top losers were:

  • U.S. Steel (X) -21.17%
  • Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) -20.63%
  • Alcoa (AA) -20.10%
  • Nucor (NUE) -19.08%
  • Olin (OLN) -18.53%

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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