Materials sector lagged the ASX 200 on Tuesday

Why are ASX materials shares like BHP dragging the ASX 200 down today?

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has had a bit of a topsy-turvy Tuesday. While the ASX 200 finished the day up 0.024% at 7,530.30 pints, it was down as low as 7,488 points earlier in the day (0.5%).

Looking at the ASX 200 sectors that contributed and detracted to today’s ASX 200 performance, and one sector jumps out. That would be the ASX materials sector. Materials companies are generally those who dwell in the mining and drilling space.

So the S&P/ASX 200 Materials Index (ASX: XMJ) closed the day at 0.81%, vastly underperforming the broader ASX 200. It happened to be one of the worst-performing ASX sectors today, so investors can largely blame this corner of the ASX 200 for the losses this Tuesday has brought us.

So let’s look at how some major ASX materials shares are sailing today.

Some of the biggest ASX materials winners and losers on Tuesday

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) is the ASX’s largest materials company. It’s shares finished the day down 0.36% to $42.04 a share.

Another major constituent is Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO). Rio shares were are also down today by 1.80%, trading at $108.70 a share.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) is a real clanger today. Fortescue shares finished the day down 3.12%, and are sitting at $17.88.

But it’s not just the big iron ore diggers that are in the red today. Gold miners are also hurting. Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) shares finished the day down at 1.35% at $24.86. Its fellow gold miners Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) and Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX: RMS) fared even worse. Regis lost a nasty 4.60% today to $2.28 a share, while Ramelius shares finished the day down 2.65% to $1.47.

A recent winner is also giving back some of its gains today. South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) shares have been on a bit of a tear in recent weeks. But today, this diversified miner slid by around 1.8% to $3.29 a share. Even so, South32 remains up more than 11% over the past month, so nothing too catastrophic there.

Another recent star performer in Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC) is doing something similar. It’s lost 1.94% today at $2.02 a share, but remains up by a very healthy 16% over the past month.

The rare ASX materials shares that are in the green today include Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC) and Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW). These companies finished the day up by 1.58% and 1.11% respectively. 

So ASX materials shares are certainly a drag on the ASX 200 today. But yet again, it wasn’t too long ago that this sector was repeatedly holding up the rest of the ASX 200. As they say, everyone eventually has their turn in the sun.

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Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns shares of Newcrest Mining Limited. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Brickworks. 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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