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ETF Action: Materials ETFs Hold Gains

Basic materials ETFs were holding gains on Tuesday on reports that Australia's economy is on track and China's growth is stabilizing.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Markets returned most of their gains on Tuesday, ending the day marginally positive. However, ETFs tracking commodities, including mining and materials, ended Tuesday on a relatively stronger note.

Following the Reserve Bank of Australia's comments that its economy's growth is on track and that China's expansion is stabilizing, the

iShares Emerging Markets Materials Index

(EMMT)

rose 4.81% in early trading on Tuesday, before cooling off to settle at $20.67, up 1.45%. The

SPDR S&P International Materials Fund

(IRV)

gained 3.43%, led by gains in two of its top holdings,

BHP Billiton

(BHP) - Get BHP Group Ltd Sponsored ADR Report

and

Rio Tinto

(RTP) - Get REINVENT TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS CLASS A Report

.

The PowerShares DBB Base Metals Fund

(DBB) - Get Invesco DB Base Metals Fund Report

, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price movement of base metals, rose 1.97%.

Market Vectors Trust Steel

(SLX) - Get VanEck Vectors Steel ETF Report

rose 1.5%. Its holdings include

Cliff Natural Resources

(CLF) - Get Cleveland-Cliffs Inc Report

, which announced the

acquisition of INR Energy's coal operations

.

With oil rising above $73 a barrel, oil ETFs also saw a spike during Tuesday's morning session. The

United States Oil Fund

(USO) - Get United States Oil Fund LP Report

rose 1.69% to $33.14. Those gains were quickly erased after oil prices retreated.

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ETFs that counted

BP

(BP) - Get BP p.l.c. Sponsored ADR Report

among their top holdings also rose, with the stock gaining 8.7% after the company announced that it would not need to issue equity and was upgraded to a buy rating by RBS.

Revenue Shares ADR Fund

(RTR)

and

BLDRS Europe 100 ADR

(ADRU) - Get Invesco BLDRS Europe Select ADR Index Fund Report

featured in the gainers list.

Natural gas ETFs were in the spotlight as a heat wave threatens to engulf the northeastern states, triggering demand for more power. The

United States Natural Gas Fund

(UNG) - Get United States Natural Gas Fund LP Report

shot up 4.45% to $8.22 before cooling off to $7.90.

Solar energy ETFs are basking in the sun as well. While most of the action in solar stocks reflected positive investor sentiment in the markets, Germany's move to

reduce subsidies for rooftop solar projects

was also a minor positive.

Claymore MAC Global Solar Energy ETF

(TAN) - Get Invesco Solar ETF Report

soared 4.45%, led by gains in

First Solar

(FSLR) - Get First Solar, Inc. Report

and

JA Solar Holdings

(JASO)

.

-- Reported by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

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