The S&P Materials index closed this trading week in green at +1.18%, and the Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was marginally up +0.35%.
Gold futures finished higher Friday but posted its worst monthly performance in seven months, after the ICE U.S. Dollar Index touched its highest level in more than five years on Thursday.
June Comex gold (XAUUSD:CUR) closed the week at $1,911.70/oz, down 1.2% for the week with the dollar rising strongly, attributed “to the steep selloff in the equity markets,” according to Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.
Benchmark three-month aluminum on the London Metal Exchange (LME) were set for their biggest monthly fall in more than 13 years on Chinese demand concerns. On Friday, LME aluminum fell 0.6% to $3,015 a tonne.
The shortfall in aluminum inventories in LME-tracked warehouses – which are at their lowest level since 2005 – has increased following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and record fuel costs led to smelter closures in Europe.
Benchmark copper prices on LME rose 1.4% to $9,830 per ton, after major metals consumer China pledged more economic support. China’s President Xi Jinping called for all-out efforts to increase infrastructure spending to boost an economy that has been hammered by COVID-related lockdowns.
Take a look at this week’s top gainers and losers among basic material stocks ($300M market cap or more):
Alpha Metallurgical Resources (AMR) +24.24%; shares have surged +145.66% YTD, as coal stocks continue their rally.
Bioceres Crop Solutions (BIOX) +24.15%; shares jumped on news of a major approval, with China greenlighting imports of its drought-resistant soybean strain.
Clearwater Paper (CLW) +22.36%; the stock jumped to a three-month high in Friday’s trading after Q1 adjusted earnings easily beat expectations.
Sylvamo (SLVM) +12.67%; the paper products producer is up +58% YTD.
Sherwin-Williams (SHW) +12.17%; shares are up after reporting a beat on Q1 top and bottom line earnings estimates.
TMC the metals company (TMC) -18.09%; the stock is down -21.43% YTD.
Intrepid Potash (IPI) -16.03%; shares have been on a decline since the previous week.
Coeur Mining (CDE) -14.59%; the precious metals explorer has been hit by recent weakness in gold futures, which tumbled to two-month lows during the week.
Century Aluminum (CENX) -13.88%; shares slumped to an 11-week low in Friday’s trading after BMO cut its price target citing higher ongoing costs and “tepid” outlook on aluminum prices.
Mesabi Trust (MSB) -12.55%; the firm declared a quarterly dividend -40.6% lower from a prior dividend of $1.75.
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).