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Iron ore slips from 8-week high; set for weekly gain on China demand outlook

* Singapore iron ore pulls back from contract high

* China steel inventory slumps to 10-week low - Mysteel

* Spot iron ore touches four-week high - SteelHome

MANILA, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Iron ore futures slumped on Friday after the Dalian benchmark hit an eight-week peak in the previous session, but the steelmaking raw material was set to post a weekly gain on hopes of robust demand as China’s steel inventories shrank.

Stocks of the five major finished steel products in China, the world’s top producer and consumer of ferrous metals, fell this week to a 10-month low of 5.2 million tonnes, according to Mysteel consultancy’s survey of 184 mills.

Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange dropped as much as 2% to 823 yuan ($124.30) a tonne, after touching 850 yuan in the previous session, its highest since Sept. 15. It’s risen 4.7% for the week.

The Singapore Exchange benchmark lost 1.2% to $118.41 a tonne, retreating from its contract-high of $121.78 on Thursday.

Firm steel demand from end-users and mills' lower output boosted prices, with the Dalian and Singapore futures set to mark weekly gains of about 5%, while spot iron ore hit a four-week high of $124.50 a tonne on Thursday, according to SteelHome consultancy. SH-CCN-IRNOR62

“This week, the (steel) destocking speed exceeded 1 million tonnes,” accelerating from October levels, Sinosteel Futures analysts said in a note.

However, looming restrictions on China’s property sector could dampen the market’s enthusiasm over iron ore demand prospects.

“Strong destocking of steel suggests resilient demand, but steel production is likely to moderate amid restrictions on China’s real estate sector, paving the way for softer iron ore demand,” said Daniel Hynes, senior commodity strategist at ANZ.

China is mulling over introducing stricter controls on the leverage of property developers by capping the ratios of their debt-to-cash flows, assets and capital levels, he said.

Rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.3%, while both hot-rolled coil and stainless steel were virtually flat by the mid-day break.

Dalian coking coal rose 0.9% while coke lost 0.5%.

Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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