MELBOURNE, Feb 7 (Reuters) - 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