Miner ETFs Surge on Improving Metals Prices, Economic Outlook

  • Mining stocks, materials sectors ETFs gain momentum thanks to steadily rising metal prices, U.S. employment numbers
  • Miners gained further momentum Friday after the government the U.S. economy added 242,000 nonfarm payrolls in February
  • Markets don’t anticipate Federal Reserve to change its rate schedule in the March meeting

The mining stocks and materials sector exchange traded funds are gaining momentum as the steadily rising metal prices, along with the stronger-than-expected U.S. employment numbers, help improve the industry’s outlook.

On Friday, mining-related ETFs led the Tuesday advance, with the PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF (NYSEArca: SILJ) up 9.2% and Market Vectors Steel ETF (NYSEArca: SLX) up 6.9%.

Meanwhile, the broader iShares MSCI Global Metals & Mining Producers ETF (NYSEArca: PICK) rose 5.9%, Global X Copper Miners ETF (NYSEArca: COPX) increased 6.0% and SPDR Metals & Mining ETF (NYSEArca: XME) advanced 5.7%.

The materials were the best performing S&P 500 sector, with the Materials Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLB) 1.7% higher Friday.

Major industrial metals and precious metals are lifting mining sector. Comex copper futures were trading back at $2.2715 per pound Friday, near six month highs.

“Miners are having a great run as some investors believe that stronger metals prices may change the fate of the basic resources sector,” Jawaid Afsar, senior trader at Securequity, said told Reuters. “However, the sector remains vulnerable in the near-term as the recent rally may prompt some people to book profits.”

Additionally, the ongoing rally in precious metals is also bolstering the mining sector. Gold futures were at $1,269 per ounce and silver futures were hovering around $15.7 per ounce.