* Iron ore snaps 9-day losing streak
* Concerns about China's economic growth linger
(Updates with closing prices)
By Meng Meng and Josephine Mason
BEIJING, Dec 27 Chinese coke and coking coal
futures sank for a fourth straight session, as speculative
investors continued to take profits from the weeks-long rally in
steelmaking raw materials amid concerns about demand as Beijing
cracks down on excess steel capacity.
Iron ore eked out small gains, breaking a nine-day losing
streak that had knocked prices to a one-month low on Monday.
Steel rebar, used in construction, was flat to slightly higher.
Concerns about economic growth in the world's top
commodities market and efforts by the government to rein in its
red-hot property market continued to weigh on sentiment.
Adding to fears about broader declining consumption, steel
mills typically curb their output during the quieter winter
months and ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday at the
end of January.
"Coke spot prices tumbled sharply today on decreasing
purchases from steel mills," said Zhang Min, coal analyst at
China Sublime Information Group.
"A big fall on the spot market has triggered more selling of
coke futures today, led by institutional investors who are
holding large positions."
The most-active coking coal futures on the Dalian
Commodity Exchange closed down 3.24 percent at 1,162.5 yuan
($167.27) per tonne, after falling to as low as 1,143 earlier in
the session, its lowest since Oct. 18.
Coke settled down 3.2 percent at 1,528.50 yuan
($219.94) per tonne. Earlier in the session, coke was as low as
1,495 per tonne, its lowest since Nov. 3.
Steel plants in Tangshan, in Hebei province, which accounts
for about one-fifth of China's steel output, are operating at
around 70 percent to 74 percent of capacity, down from 80
percent in October, Zhang said, citing Sublime Group data.
Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange settled
up 0.73 percent at 549.5 yuan ($79.07) a tonne, while the
most-active rebar contract for May delivery on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange rose 0.14 percent to settle at 2,931
yuan ($421.74) per tonne.
($1 = 6.9497 Chinese yuan)
(Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Amrutha Gayathri)