The materials sector is leading ASX 200 shares today

What’s holding the ASX 200 up today?

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A young boy sits on his dad's shoulders while both flex their musicles, indicating ASX share price growth

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is having a rather tepid start to the trading week this Monday. At the time of writing, the ASX 200 is up an incremental 0.14% to 7,498.9 points after spiking as high as 7,528.3 points earlier this morning.

Looking at how the top ASX 200 shares are faring today, and one trend becomes obvious. The ASX 200 wouldn’t be in the green at all today if it wasn’t for the performance of one sector in particular: ASX materials shares. Sometimes referred to as ‘ASX resources’, ASX materials shares basically encompass any ASX company that mines or drills for resources/commodities.

And with other ASX blue chip shares like Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) and CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) retreating today, ASX materials shares are certainly in the spotlight. Let’s go through some of the major players today.

ASX materials shares like BHP turbocharge ASX 200

So first up is the ASX 200’s largest miner, BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP). BHP shares are currently up a healthy 3% to $46.04. This follows a month which investors would probably rather forget. Even after this rise, BHP is still down a nasty 14% over the past month or so. This is probably the result of the iron ore price falling steeply over the same period.

Iron ore has shown signs of stabilising this week, so this is probably why we are seeing iron miners like BHP rally today. It’s not just BHP either though.

This Monday sees BHP’s fellow iron giant Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) up 2.98% as well to $112.97 a share at the time of writing. Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) is doing even better. It’s up 6.55% so far today to $21.31 after reporting its FY21 earnings this morning.

It’s not just the iron miners though which are fuelling the ASX materials sector today. We have also been big moves from ASX gold miners. Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) is up a healthy 1.75% today to $24.96 a share. Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) is doing even better, up 3.2% to $9.64.

The lithium and rare earths spaces are also on fire this Monday. ASX 200 lithium company Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) is soaring today, currently up a robust 6.3% to $2.20. Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC) is also up big, gaining 3.43% so far today to $6.64 a share.

Long story short, ASX 200 investors can largely thank the materials sector for the gains the ASX 200 is enjoying today. What an interesting start to the week’s trading!

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns shares of Newcrest Mining Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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