Iron ore rises on upbeat Chinese industrial data, demand hopes

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Dalian iron ore futures rose for the second consecutive session on Wednesday, as market participants reacted to robust industrial data amid expectation of economic stimulus and robust Chinese demand.

The most-traded May iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.5% to 985.5 yuan ($137.93) per metric ton at closing, headed for the second consecutive year of gains.

On the Singapore Exchange, the benchmark January iron ore rose 0.5% to $140.22 a metric ton.

China’s November industrial profits posted double-digit gains as overall manufacturing improved, although soft demand continued to constrain business growth expectations, emboldening calls for more macro policy support.

The country’s top planning body said on Saturday it had identified a second batch of public investment projects under a bond issuance and investment plan announced in October to boost the economy.

Five of China’s largest state banks lowered interest rates on some deposits on Friday, offering the prospect of reduced lending costs at a time when the government is urging banks to support the economy.

In addition, analysts expect a probable surge in demand for iron ore in the following weeks as Chinese steelmakers replenish raw materials to maintain production needs over the Lunar New Year holiday break.

Two cities in northwestern China, Xian and Yinchuan, advised residents to stay indoors, limited heavy industrial production and halted coal processing, warning of heavy pollution over the coming days with thick fog expected.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mixed. The most-active rebar contract was up 0.1%, wire rod was up 0.2% and stainless steel rose 0.3%. Meanwhile, hot-rolled coil lost 0.1%.

On other steelmaking ingredients, Dalian coking coal fell by 1.8% while coke rose by 0.2%.

Source: Reuters