It’s been a week of soaring highs and disappointing lows in the S&P 500 Materials sector, with the Materials Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLB) climbing an impressive +4.29%.
Gold and silver prices made significant gains after the release of higher U.S. unemployment claims for November, fueling market expectations of stable Fed interest rates.
Front-month Comex gold (XAUUSD:CUR) reached a two-week high of $1,983.90/oz, while silver (XAGUSD:CUR) settled at $23.892/oz, its highest closing value since September 1.
Meanwhile, stronger than expected industrial production data from China drove up prices of iron and copper. The Singapore Exchange’s benchmark December iron ore (SCO:COM) topped $130/metric ton for the first time in eight months, and benchmark copper (HG1:COM) on the London Metal Exchange reached as high as $8,278/ton, the best level since October 2.
This week’s top gainers among basic material stocks ($2B market cap or more) include Sigma Lithium (SGML) with a whopping +36% surge, followed by Hecla Mining (HL) +21.78%, Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (SID) +18.11%, Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) +17.12%, and Alpha Metallurgical Resources (AMR) +14.68%.
The list of top losers among basic material stocks features CF Industries (CF) with a disappointing -2.36% dip, followed by Osisko Gold Royalties (OR) -2.30%, Suzano (SUZ) -1.37%, Compania de Minas Buenaventura (BVN) -1.01%, and United States Steel Corporation (X) -0.20%.
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).