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Materials Down on Rate Views, But Gold Rally Continues -- Materials Roundup

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06/25/2019 | 04:30pm EDT

Producers of metals and other raw materials declined after comments from central bankers shook investors' conviction in the outlook for interest-rate cuts. Odds on Fed funds futures markets were leaning toward a 50-basis point interest rate cut in July ahead of the latest comments. But St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Tuesday that a 50 basis-point cut would be "overdone." Also Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank was still grappling with the idea of a rate cut, indicating that a July move of any kind may not be a fait accompli. Gold futures gave up some gains in the wake of the central bankers' comments, but closed at their highest level since 2013, helped by speculation from momentum traders. Used as a hedge against a weaker dollar, precious metals are particularly sensitive to the interest-rate outlook and have risen steadily since Fed speakers began "pivot" away from rate hikes at the start of this year. Recent production updates from iron miners Rio Tinto and Vale are "net positive for iron ore" prices, said strategists at brokerage Credit Suisse, in a research note.

-Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

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