Industrial metals include commodities that are used in a wide variety of applications, including numerous construction and manufacturing businesses. This category of commodity includes dozens of individual natural resources, with the most commonly-used including Aluminum, Copper, Lead, Nickel, Steel, Tin, Zinc.
Because metals are used in home construction and various manufacturing applications, these commodities tend to exhibit a strong correlation to global equity markets; when demand for raw materials climbs, the pulse of the global economy quickens. In addition, increases in metal prices often trickle down through the products in which they are used, making this asset class a potentially effective tool for combating inflation.
Investors seeking exposure to either a basket of metals or specific resources have no shortage of options; physical investing is logistically challenging and often expensive, but there are a number of futures and options contracts, ETFs and ETNs, and even equities of metals producers that present good choices.