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Quarter-End Insights

Basic Materials: China Slowdown Weighs on Commodities (With One Exception)

We expect coal, copper, and iron ore prices to remain below long-term averages as China continues to shift away from an investment-led economy.

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  • The basic materials sector is trading close to our aggregate fair values at a median price/fair value of 0.97 compared with a market price/fair value of 0.99.
  • Mined commodity prices tied to China's sun setting infrastructure and housing boom are unlikely to recover, but we see uranium as an exception to this story as China builds out its fleet of nuclear reactors.
  • While we expect China's housing market to eventually falter, the outlook for U.S. residential construction is better than most think, with implications for lumber and coatings companies.
  • In the prevailing low price environment for steelmaking commodities, we are closely monitoring steel trade regulation. With one case already filed in early June, we expect more to come.

Jeffrey Stafford does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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