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Materials Sector Supported the Markets on March 13

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Mar. 14 2017, Updated 7:39 a.m. ET

Materials sector

The S&P 500 materials sector moved higher on Monday and supported the market. The rise in copper prices improved the sentiment in the materials sector. On March 13, the S&P 500 materials sector rose 0.3%. Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), Albemarle (ALB), and International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) were the top gainers of the materials sector on March 13.

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Strike continues at Cerro Verde mine

Freeport-McMoRan, one of the world’s biggest producers of metals such as copper, gold, and silver rose 1.5% to $12.56 on Monday. Slight weakness in the dollar supported dollar-denominated commodities such as copper and boosted miners like Freeport-McMoRan. The strike at Freeport’s copper mine Cerro Verde entered the fourth day as the meeting failed to fulfill workers’ demand. Out of 1,650 workers, almost 1,300 are demanding higher mine profit share and family health benefits.

Due to the ongoing strike, contract workers have been hired to work in key areas. The mine is working at half of its capacity. The mine’s union is participating in another meeting with Freeport’s management on March 14. Freeport-McMoRan owns 53.5% of the Cerro Verde copper mine.

Financial results weigh on Albemarle

Albemarle, which is one of the leading chemical companies in the US and also the global leader in Lithium supply, rose 1.5% on March 13. The sentiment on the stock improved due to recent financial results. The results were better than the market’s expectations. According to management, the agreement with CORFO has been approved, which triples its lithium quota in Chile. CORFO is a government body that leases Chile’s lithium results. Albemarle closed the day at $104.50, which is very close to the all-time high close of $104.77. In the next part, we’ll discuss how the healthcare industry performed.

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