* Dalian iron ore rises as much as 4.5 pct
* Shanghai rebar gains nearly 3 pct, before ending flat
* Iron ore restocking seen nearly done ahead of holiday (Updates prices)
By Manolo Serapio Jr
MANILA, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Iron ore futures in China jumped to a three-week high on Thursday, tracking gains in steel prices, even as appetite for spot cargoes was limited ahead of a week-long holiday in the top consumer.
Chinese markets will be shut Oct. 3-7 for the National Day holiday.
The most-active iron ore for January delivery on the Dalian Commodity Exchange climbed as much as 4.5 percent to 426.50 yuan ($64) a tonne, its strongest since Sept. 6. The contract later curbed gains to close 1.4 percent higher at 413.50 yuan.
On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, construction steel product rebar rose as much as 2.6 percent before ending flat at 2,273 yuan a tonne.
Iron ore’s gains were largely driven by steel, said Wang Di, analyst at CRU consultancy in Beijing.
“We don’t see too much change in fundamentals. It’s the pre-holiday period and I think buyers have almost completed their restocking,” said Wang.
Wang expects demand for the steelmaking raw material to remain firm after China’s holiday, with steel production staying high. Although she said there could be some downside risk with steel stocks building up, suggesting slow demand.
Stocks of rebar at 28 major Chinese cities stood at 4.3198 million tonnes as of Sept. 23, the highest since mid-April, according to data tracked by SteelHome consultancy. SH-TOT-RBARINV
Reflecting lean demand for immediate cargoes, the price of spot iron ore dropped for a third straight day on Wednesday.
Iron ore for delivery to China’s Tianjin port .IO62-CNI=SI slipped 0.5 percent to $55.90 a tonne, the lowest in a week, according to The Steel Index.
$1 = 6.6696 Chinese yuan Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Joseph Radford and Biju Dwarakanath