January 25, 2018 / 7:13 AM / in 10 months

UPDATE 1-China steel futures rise on weaker dollar, stronger raw materials

* Coking coal, coke rise as snow disrupts transportation

* Steel demand still showing winter-month weakness (Updates close prices)

SHANGHAI, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Chinese steel futures rose on Thursday, lifted by a weaker dollar and gains in coking coal and coke futures.

The most active rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 1.1 percent at 3,966 yuan a tonne by the close.

The dollar was holding near three-year lows against its peers after caving on comments by U.S. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin indicating that he welcomed a weaker currency.

Steel prices were also supported by gains in coking coal and coke futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange as heavy snows in China’s northern regions disrupted transportation networks.

“Coal and coke rose because of the snowy weather,” said Fu Deling, an analyst with Xinhu Futures in Hangzhou.

“Steel mills are not likely to resume production until late March, while buying will start one month earlier, so I am positive on prices after the Lunar New Year holiday,” Fu added.

China’s one-week Lunar New Year holiday starts on Feb. 15. Typically steel demand from end-users is weak until the holiday break, but some traders start restocking beforehand in anticipation of demand recovery afterwards.

Steel demand usually tapers off in winter as construction activities - a primary consumer of the metal - slow down.

Coking coal gained 2.7 percent to 1,319 yuan a tonne and coke jumped 3.7 percent to 2,063.5 yuan a tonne by GMT 0255.

Dalian iron ore futures rose 1.5 percent to 529.5 yuan a tonne.

Iron ore for delivery to China .IO62-CNO=MB rose 24 cents to $74.53 a tonne on Wednesday, according to Metal Bulletin.

$1 = 6.3340 Chinese yuan Reporting by Ruby Lian and Josephine Mason; Editing by Tom Hogue and Richard Pullin

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