April 29, 2020 / 9:30 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-China steel futures trade in narrow range, focus on govt stimulus

* Rebar, hot-rolled coil futures trade in tight range

* Dalian iron ore, coking coal futures fall

* China to speed up infrastructure construction (Adds details; updates with closing prices)

BEIJING, April 29 (Reuters) - China steel futures drifted in a narrow range on Wednesday as market participants refrained from making big bets while waiting to see how much government infrastructure stimulus measures would revive demand for the construction material.

A cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Tuesday that China would speed up construction of new infrastructure and upgrade its information industry to meet huge domestic demand.

The most traded construction rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for October delivery, closed with a 0.03% dip to 3,302 yuan ($466.74) per tonne.

A Reuters poll of 32 economists showed China’s factory activity likely rose for a second straight month in April as more businesses re-opened from strict lockdowns implemented to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

But it’s still not clear how steel consumption in the manufacturing sector is going to recover as the global market largely remains paralysed by the pandemic.

Hot-rolled coil futures, used in cars and home appliances, inched up 0.2% to 3,159 yuan per tonne.

Prices for steelmaking raw materials meanwhile fell, with coking coal for September delivery down 0.5% to 1,040 yuan a tonne, and coke down 0.2% to 1,657 yuan.

Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended 0.6% lower at 596 yuan per tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot prices for iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China fell to $84 per tonne on Tuesday.

* Stainless steel futures for June delivery fell 0.1% to 12,820 yuan per tonne.

* More than 3.11 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 216,667 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

* China’s parliament will start its annual meeting on May 22, the official Xinhua news agency reported, more than two months later than originally planned due to the coronavirus outbreak.

* Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, China’s top listed steelmaker, reported a 43.6% plunge in first-quarter net profit and warned of a big first-half drop citing the pandemic.

* Brazilian iron ore miner Vale cut its forecast for 2020 capital expenditure and warned that the novel coronavirus could hinder medium-term production, underlining the impact of the outbreak on the mining industry.

$1 = 7.0746 yuan Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Tom Hogue

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