Materials Down as Dollar Strengthens -- Materials Roundup

Shares of mining companies and other commodities producers fell as the dollar recouped some of its recent losses against rival currencies.

A rise in the value of the dollar in the last half-decade coincided with a bust in the commodities sphere. More recently, those trends have reversed, with the dollar falling to multiyear lows against rivals and commodities such as oil, copper and gold hitting multiyear highs. The selloff in the dollar picked up steam last week when comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the Davos World Economic Forum were interpreted as endorsement of a "weak dollar" trade policy.

"The dollar rhetoric from Trump and Washington officials comes at a particularly sensitive time for global trade," said analysts at brokerage Jefferies in a research note. "The attempt to devalue the dollar should be viewed in the wider context of U.S. negotiations to implement tariffs on Aluminum and Steel imports and the threat to withdraw from NAFTA. The recent comments to force the dollar down might actually be a negotiating tactic to achieve better trade deals."

Packaging maker WestRock agreed to buy rival KapStone Paper and Packaging for about $3.5 billion, or $35 a share.

-Rob Curran,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 29, 2018 16:16 ET (21:16 GMT)