HomeMarket NewsKey Highlights: Materials Sector Weekly Round-up

Key Highlights: Materials Sector Weekly Round-up

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The past week saw the S&P 500 Materials sector down by -1.83%, with the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLB) experiencing a similar downtrend of -1.81%. The market’s reaction to the third-quarter earnings season and hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell continued to influence these movements.

One notable development was the decline in gold futures, marking their first weekly loss in five weeks. The negative sentiment following the central bank chief’s hawkish remarks at an International Monetary Fund conference weighed heavily on the precious metal. Additionally, the easing of fears regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict led to a drop in safe-haven sentiment. As a result, front-month Comex gold (XAUUSD:CUR) concluded the week with a 2.9% dip to $1,932.60/oz, while November silver (XAGUSD:CUR) settled at a decrease of 4.2% to $22.215/oz.

Furthermore, the impact of Powell’s comments extended to copper and aluminum futures, which plummeted to a two-week low. Reuters reported benchmark three-month copper (HG1:COM) on the London Metal Exchange dropping by 0.9% to $8,074.50/metric ton, while aluminum (LMAHDS03:COM) experienced a 1.1% decrease to $2,218/ton, marking their lowest levels since October 27.

Notable Gainers in Basic Material Stocks

Amidst the fluctuations, certain basic material stocks emerged as gainers:

  • Cabot (CBT): +9.52%
    The specialty materials company closed its fiscal year with a Q4 earnings beat and expressed positive expectations about its future cash flow despite prevailing macro challenges.
  • James Hardie Industries (JHX): +8.42%
    This building materials firm reported a top-line beat for Q2 and provided net income guidance for the upcoming quarter.
  • Compania de Minas Buenaventura (BVN): +5.69%
    With a strong performance, this stock has surged by 17.21% YTD.
  • CRH (CRH): +4.96%
    The shares have witnessed a remarkable growth of 45.89% YTD and 20.39% in the past six months.
  • Suzano (SUZ): +4.43%
    Following a bearish phase between March and May, this stock has risen by 32.50% in the last six months.

Basic Material Stocks Facing Losses

On the other hand, some basic material stocks experienced declines, including:

  • Sigma Lithium (SGML): -16.58%
    Alongside many other lithium stocks, Sigma Lithium witnessed a sharp downturn in 2023, although the sector shows potential for a more bullish 2024.
  • Sibanye Stillwater (SBSW): -14.31%
    The precious metals mining company faced downward pressure due to metal prices and announced the acquisition of U.S. metals recycler Reldan during this week.
  • Corteva (CTVA): -12.90%
    Suffering a two-year low, the company reported a Q3 loss and a decline in revenue.
  • Pan American Silver (PAAS): -12.71%
    After missing Q3 earnings estimates and noting silver production at the lower end of guidance, the stock nearly touched a three-and-a-half-year low.
  • Newmont (NEM): -12.31%
    The gold producer faced a challenging week coupled with the drop in gold prices.

ETFs to Monitor:
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)

Deep Dive: Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF

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