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Iron ore snaps six-day rally, strong demand outlook limits losses

* Dalian iron ore down 1.1% after six-session rise

* SGX iron ore falls 1.3% after five-session rally

* Spot iron ore prices at highest since Jan 2014

MANILA, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Dalian iron ore futures fell on Friday after gaining for six straight sessions, but a strong demand outlook for the steelmaking raw material limited losses and kept China’s benchmark prices on track for their biggest weekly gain in four.

Iron ore for January 2021 delivery on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended the morning session down 1.1% at 853 yuan ($124.69) a tonne. The most-active contract in the Chinese bourse has gained 3.7% so far this week.

The commodity’s front-month October contract on the Singapore Exchange dipped 1.3% to $122.60 a tonne, after a five-session winning streak.

Tracking solid gains in futures markets, spot iron ore jumped to $128 a tonne on Thursday SH-CCN-IRNOR62, the highest since January 2014, based on SteelHome consultancy data.

“It is easier to see a pullback in the futures market that is more responsive to market sentiment, but physical price will be more resilient driven more by supply-demand fundamentals,” said Richard Lu, senior analysts at CRU in Beijing.

Steel producers in China, which accounts for more than half of the world’s steel output, are ramping up output, encouraged by a construction boom spurred by the government’s economic stimulus measures.

Signs of a global economic recovery from the pandemic’s impact also helped improve the steel demand outlook.

“Exports are back in play to be the key driver for Asia’s biggest economy,” ING economists said in a note, predicting a 16% rise in China’s overall exports in August to a record $249 billion, ahead of the data release next week.

China’s 2020 steel output is now forecast to rise 4.8% to more than 1 billion tonnes, ANZ commodity strategists said, higher than their previous growth forecast of 1.5%.

Construction steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 1.1%, while hot-rolled coil lost 0.8%. Stainless steel slid 2.8%.

Coking coal fell 0.3% and coke dipped 0.5%.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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