MELBOURNE Feb 7 Iron ore consolidated near
four-week lows on Tuesday amid a stronger dollar and as markets
awaited fresh China data for cues on the state of demand from
the world's biggest steel consumer.
China is expected to report on Tuesday that foreign exchange
reserves fell for the seventh straight month in January but at a
much slower pace as authorities tightened controls on capital
outflows and the surging U.S. dollar lost some steam.
The ferrous sector has come under pressure since the country
launched a surprise rate hike last week, boosting financing
costs for holders of commodities, which are priced in dollars.
Steel prices have slid nearly 9 percent.
The dollar also edged up after Philadelphia Federal Reserve
Bank President Patrick Harker on Monday said he would be open to
raising interest rates again at the U.S. central bank's March
meeting if growth in jobs and wages continues.
The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange
steadied at 3,096 yuan ($451) a tonne, having closed
down 6.8 percent on Monday when it slipped to the weakest since
Jan. 10 at 3,062 yuan a tonne
Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was flat
at 605 yuan.
Iron ore for delivery to China's Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB
fell 3.3 percent on Monday, according to Metal Bulletin.
($1 = 6.8618 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin)