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UPDATE 1-Dalian iron ore futures steady after slump
November 20, 2014 / 7:33 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Dalian iron ore futures steady after slump

* Spot iron ore fell to $70/T on Wed, lowest since 2009

* China factory growth stalls in November

* Cliffs may seek creditor protection in Canada (Adds Cliffs, updates prices)

By Manolo Serapio Jr

SINGAPORE, Nov 20 (Reuters) - China’s iron ore futures steadied on Thursday as sellers paused after sending prices down more than 6 percent in the past two sessions to stretch this year’s rout in the glut-hit commodity.

Spot iron ore prices fell to their lowest level since 2009 on Wednesday as Dalian futures lost more ground, with buying interest limited even though traders cut offers for physical cargoes.

At $70 a tonne, iron ore is now within striking distance of record lows of around $59 since pricing data was available in late 2008.

This week’s slide was fueled by data on Tuesday that showed a deeper decline in home prices in China which buys around two-thirds of the world’s iron ore.

The “selling pressure could extend into the coming week as fundamentals remain unbalanced and supply overhangs dominate the market landscape,” said Kash Kamal, analyst at Sucden Financial.

Iron ore for May delivery on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed unchanged at 476 yuan ($78) a tonne, after hitting a record low of 469 yuan in the previous session.

Iron ore for immediate delivery to China .IO62-CNI=SI fell nearly 3 percent to $70 a tonne on Wednesday, the lowest since June 2009, according to data compiled by The Steel Index.

Increased iron ore output from big, low-cost producers such as Rio Tinto and Vale has deepened a supply glut at a time when China’s economy is slowing.

There was more evidence of weakness in China’s economy on Thursday as growth in its factory activity stalled in November, with output shrinking for the first time in six months, a private survey showed.

Spot iron ore prices have slumped almost 48 percent this year.

“Mills were not buying iron ore in the last few days. In a falling market, people would rather wait,” said an iron ore trader in Shanghai.

Amid a slide in iron ore prices, U.S.-based Cliffs Natural Resources said it might have to close its Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec and may seek creditor protection in Canada to insulate itself from closure costs and liabilities at its Canadian operations.

Rebar and iron ore prices at 0706 GMT Contract Last Change Pct Change SHFE REBAR MAY5 2439 -6.00 -0.25 DALIAN IRON ORE DCE DCIO MAY5 476 +0.00 +0.00 SGX IRON ORE FUTURES DEC 69.95 +0.61 +0.88 THE STEEL INDEX 62 PCT INDEX 70 -2.10 -2.91 METAL BULLETIN INDEX 70.2 -1.60 -2.23 Dalian iron ore and Shanghai rebar in yuan/tonne Index in dollars/tonne, show close for the previous trading day ($1 = 6.1242 Chinese yuan) (Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Sunil Nair)

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