Iron ore climbs to over one-week high as China pledges to stabilize market

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Iron ore futures climbed on Tuesday to their highest level in more than a week, as investor confidence was boosted after policymakers in top consumer China pledged to stabilize its market.

The most-traded May iron ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ended daytime trade 1.42% higher at 965.5 yuan ($134.70) a metric ton, the highest level since Jan. 12.

The benchmark February iron ore on the Singapore Exchange was 2.01% higher at $131.55 a ton, as of 0724 GMT, also the highest since Jan. 12.

China will take more forceful and effective measures to support market confidence, state media CCTV reported on Monday, citing a cabinet meeting, following a plunge in Chinese shares.

Meanwhile, China’s major state-owned banks took action on Monday to bolster the yuan and prevent it from falling too rapidly, Reuters reported.

This move came after Beijing kept benchmark lending rates unchanged at its monthly fixing on Monday, following last week’s decision to hold its medium-term lending facility rate steady, reflecting Beijing’s limited room for monetary easing amid pressure on the yuan.

Beijing has set a growth target of around 5% for 2024, surpassing last year’s goal of above 4.5%, despite expectations of slower growth for the economy.

“Many steelmakers have already completed the wave of iron ore buying to meet production needs over the Lunar New Year holiday break, while a few small-scale steel mills may need to return to the portside market for sporadic purchase in coming weeks,” said Yu Chen, a Shanghai-based analyst at Mysteel.

Other steelmaking ingredients on the DCE also advanced, with coking coal and coke up 0.3% and 0.73%, respectively.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ticked up amid higher raw material prices.

Rebar added 0.34%, hot-rolled coil rose 0.42% and wire rod edged up 0.27%, while stainless steel jumped 1.52%.

($1 = 7.1676 Chinese yuan)

(By Amy Lv and Andrew Hayley; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Mrigank Dhaniwala)


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