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China iron ore rallies again as investors' appetite for steel returns
June 28, 2017 / 3:59 AM / 6 months ago

China iron ore rallies again as investors' appetite for steel returns

BEIJING, June 28 (Reuters) - China’s iron ore rallied more than 3 percent on Wednesday, hitting its highest in a month and extending recent gains as investors piled into the market ahead of the quarter end and on a revival in appetite for bulk commodities.

Steel rebar rose as much as 3.2 percent and was on track for its best daily performance in more than a month.

Anlysts said the buying spree followed on from reassurances in a speech by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the state of the Chinese economy and industrial profit data on Tuesday.

Those factors and some end-of-quarter window dressing had triggered a late afternoon surge in prices on Tuesday.

Iron ore hit technical resistance at 460.5 yuan ($67.72), its 50-day moving average, suggesting the remarkable 8-percent rally this week may not have much more momentum as worries about ballooning stockpiles and slackening demand linger.

Last week, stocks of imported iron ore at China’s ports SH-TOT-IRONINV rose to 141.5 million tonnes, the highest since 2004, according to data tracked by SteelHome.

The most-traded iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 3.16 percent at 457.5 yuan a tonne at 0330 GMT.

Prices are on track for their first quarterly loss since the fourth quarter 2015.

Traders said a breakout this week was inevitable ahead of the quarter and first-half end even without an obvious trigger. Until this week, prices had been stuck between about 415 yuan and 443 yuan this month.

Open interest in the market hit a record on Tuesday, rising 15 percent to 2.68 million lots, equivalent of 268.6 million tonnes worth 122.6 billion yuan.

Iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB jumped 5.2 percent to $59.70 a tonne on Tuesday, its strongest since May 25, according to Metal Bulletin.

It was the biggest single-day spike for the spot benchmark since Feb. 13.

“We’re not expecting to see a full-blown rally from here, but something in the low $60s looks reasonable over the next few months,” said Daniel Hynes, commodity strategist at ANZ.

The most-active construction steel rose 2.96 percent to 3,267 yuan a tonne as investors continued to focus on China’s capacity cutbacks and industrial upgrade in the steel sector.

Coking coal jumped 1.55 percent to 1,045.5 yuan a tonne, and coke rose 1.73 percent at 1,676.5 yuan per tonne. ($1 = 6.8003 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Josephine Mason in BEIJING and Manolo Serapio Jr in MANILA; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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