* Dalian iron ore posts 5.3% weekly gain
* Singapore iron ore retreats from contract high
* Spot iron ore touches four-week high - SteelHome (Updates prices, milestones)
MANILA, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Iron ore futures ended lower on Friday, but the benchmark Dalian contract posted its biggest weekly gain in three months on hopes of robust demand for the steelmaking raw material as China’s steel inventories shrank.
Iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange closed 0.8% down at 832.50 yuan ($125.67) a tonne. It gained 5.3% for the week, its steepest weekly rise since early August.
The Singapore Exchange benchmark slipped 0.8% to $118.94 a tonne by 0729 GMT, after scaling a contract-high of $121.78 on Thursday. It has climbed 4.2% this week.
Firm steel demand from end-users and mills' lower output boosted prices this week, with spot iron ore touching a four-week high of $124.50 a tonne on Thursday, according to SteelHome consultancy. SH-CCN-IRNOR62
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.
“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.
Both construction steel rebar and stainless steel finished flat on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, but hot-rolled coil rose 0.8%.
Dalian coking coal jumped 1.4%, while coke gained 1.2% and posted its seventh straight weekly gain amid tight supply.
Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Rashmi Aich
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