Materials Flat Ahead Of Yellen Speech -- Materials Roundup

Shares of commodities producers were more or less flat ahead of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech at a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Gold futures held near an eight-month high as investors hedged themselves against the risk of a U.S. default. Russ Koesterich, co-portfolio manager of BlackRock's Global Allocation Fund, said gold futures are behaving strangely as the value of the safe haven rises in tandem with the price of riskier assets. "A hard-to-define asset, gold is often thought to perform best when either inflation and/or volatility is rising," said Mr. Koesterich, in a note to clients. "This year has been notable for both falling inflation and record low volatility, raising the question: What is powering gold's ascent and can it continue?"

Mr. Koesterich said gold futures will remain strong as long as political uncertainty prevails and "real" interest rates--as measured by Treasury yields--continue "plateauing."

-Rob Curran,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 24, 2017 16:43 ET (20:43 GMT)