NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Material and mining ETFs are attracting buyers on Monday morning as China is set to replace Japan as the world's second-largest economy. The gains in the sector are helping to offset market weakness following poor manufacturing and housing data.

The

SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF

(XME) - Get Report

is rising 1.4%. Its top holdings include

Freeport McMoRan

(FCX) - Get Report

, up 1.4%, and

Cliff Natural Resources

(CLF) - Get Report

, up 2.2%. Other gainers include

Market Vectors Steel ETF

(SLX) - Get Report

and

Market Vectors Coal ETF

(KOL) - Get Report

, rising 1.4% and 1.2% respectively. The PowerShares DBB Base Metals Index, which tracks the price of widely-used base metals such as aluminium, zinc and copper, is gaining 1.3%.

Demand for safe-haven assets continues to rise amid weak market confidence. ETFs investing in treasuries, gold and silver are all up on Monday forenoon trading. Demand for silver ETFs outpaced that of gold, with the

iShares Silver Trust

(SLV) - Get Report

gaining 1.8% while the popular

SPDR Gold Shares

(GLD) - Get Report

is up only 0.8%.

The

SPDR Home Builders ETF

(XHB) - Get Report

and the

iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction

(ITB) - Get Report

is heading lower by 0.7% and 0.2% respectively after the home-builders index fell to a 17-month low.

-- Reported by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.