Production of copper wire, cable in reels at factory. Cable factory.


The S&P 500 on Friday recorded its fourth straight weekly gain, up 3.26% with 11 sectors closing in the green for the week. Energy was the top gainer, rising +9.32%, and the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) was up +7.38%.

Copper prices continued their steady advance to hit a six-week high. According to Reuters, benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (HG1:COM) reached as high as $8,190.50/ton this week, the highest price since July 1.

Prices of the metal this week were propped up by recent data showing U.S. inflation was milder than expected, prompting hopes that the Federal Reserve might dial down the size of expected interest rate hikes in September.

Meanwhile, CBOT lumber futures rose (LB1:COM) for the third straight session on Wednesday to $601.80 per 1,000 board feet, the highest intraday price since July 22, as supply cuts from major Canadian producer West Fraser Timber (WFG) outweigh rising interest rates that are hurting housing markets.

Take a look at this week’s top gainers among basic material stocks ($300M market cap or more):

  • Albemarle (ALB) +15.33%; Lithium providers including Albemarle, Sigma Lithium and Livent benefited from optimism tied to a new sweeping tax and climate bill passed on Friday, set to be signed into law next week.
  • Sigma Lithium (SGML) +14.57%
  • Alpha Metallurgical Resources (AMR) +14.53%; AMR posted its Q2 numbers and raised its shipment guidance for thermal byproduct tonnage as well as total shipments guidance.
  • Perimeter Solutions (PRM) +14.33%
  • Livent (LTHM) +14.31%

This week’s top losers in the basic material sector:

  • Pan American Silver (PAAS) -13.10%; Pan American Silver missed Q2 earnings and revenue estimates this week and guided to the lower end of its production outlook for 2022.
  • Mp Materials (MP) -3.03%
  • International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) -2.96%; IFF posted its Q2 results at the start of this week.
  • SSR Mining (SSRM) -2.58%
  • Hecla Mining Company (HL) -2.53%

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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