February 7, 2017 / 3:40 AM / in 8 months

Iron ore climbs off lowest in nearly 4 weeks, China econ data in focus

* Iron ore prices look overdue for correction -INTL

* Dollar ticks up after Federal Reserve official statement

* Rise in China iron ore port stocks drags on prices -ANZ (Adds comment, detail; updates prices)

By Melanie Burton

MELBOURNE, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Iron ore climbed on Tuesday after steep losses in the previous session, with markets waiting for fresh Chinese economic data for clues on the state of demand in the world’s top 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 slid more than 5 percent.

“We continue to feel that iron ore looks overbought and is due for a correction, especially as it looks more likely that China is interested in reining things in given the short-term interest rate hike,” said INTL FCStone in a report.

The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 2.2 percent to 3,165 yuan ($461) 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.

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.

Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was trading up 2.4 percent at 620.5 yuan ($90)

“Iron ore spot prices threatened to push below $80 a tonne after data showed another strong rise in inventories of iron ore held at Chinese ports,” ANZ said in a note.

“According to SteelHome, stocks rose by 3.3 percent, or 3.9 million tonnes, to 123.45 million tonnes last week. This should come as no surprise, with subdued demand around the holidays coming amidst strong growth in supply.”

Iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB fell 3.3 percent on Monday, according to Metal Bulletin. ($1 = 6.8720 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)

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