Materials Shares Rise - Materials Roundup

FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Shares of commodities producers rose even as minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest monetary-policy meeting showed the central bank mulling a faster pace of rate increases this year. Federal Reserve officials in December debated whether new tax cuts would require them to raise short-term interest rates faster this year after lifting them three times last year, the minutes showed. Gold struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise. Meanwhile, another massive U.S. corn and soybean crop this year added to pressure on Cargill's grain trading and processing division, which helped push the agricultural conglomerate's overall earnings down 6% in the most recent quarter. Global demand is growing, but not fast enough to soak up rising global grain stockpiles, which Cargill said "weighed on markets, diminishing volatility and trading opportunities." Licenses to import finished steel into the U.S. indicate that imports dropped 16% in December from a year earlier to 1.6M metric tons and were down nearly 15% from November. While the licenses don't always match with actual import volumes from the Department of Commerce, analysts say a trend towards falling imports appears to be forming with two straight months of declines. Higher steel prices overseas and U.S. tariffs are causing some foreign steelmakers to sell more of their steel at home instead of sending it to the U.S. (Amy.Pessetto@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

Continue Reading Below

January 03, 2018 17:20 ET (22:20 GMT)