* Rising futures may lift spot iron ore away from 1-month
* Chinese Premier says economy faces risks, but has tools to
By Manolo Serapio Jr
MANILA, March 15 Iron ore futures in China
surged more than 5 percent on Wednesday as steel prices rose to
their strongest in more than three years on hopes of firm demand
as Beijing spurs infrastructure spending and property sales
This week marks a sharp recovery for iron ore that could
help pull the spot price further away from a one-month low if
Chinese steel futures sustain their upward momentum.
China's fixed-asset investment grew 8.9 percent in January
and February from the same period last year, largely due to
strong property and infrastructure construction, outpacing the
8.1 percent pace for all of 2016.
"We continue to believe that China will look to
infrastructure investment in 2017 to drive growth as China's top
leaders prepare for elections in November," Commonwealth Bank of
Australia analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.
The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange
rose as far as 3,692 yuan ($534) per tonne, its highest
since February 2014. It closed up 1.6 percent at 3,641 yuan.
Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange soared
5.5 percent to end at 724.50 yuan a tonne, having touched a
two-week peak of 730.50 yuan earlier.
Strong growth in property sales and real estate investment
in the past two months also gave the market hope that
construction activity could pick up again, Dhar said.
"While we think it is unlikely that China's property sector
will remain a tailwind to Chinese steel consumption this year,
it would certainly provide upside risk to our commodity price
China's Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday the world's
second-largest economy faces domestic and external risks this
year, but added that the country has many policy tools to cope
with them. He also said this year's economic growth target of
around 6.5 percent will not be easy to meet.
Iron ore for delivery to China's Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB
was little changed at $88.14 a tonne on Tuesday, according to
Metal Bulletin, not far above a one-month low of $86.72 reached
on March 10.
($1 = 6.9154 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin and