June 26, 2018 / 7:43 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Shanghai rebar hits 4-week low on trade tensions, high stocks

* China steel stockpiles rise after 14-week decline

* Coke futures drop 4 pct to lowest in almost 3 weeks (Updates prices)

By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA, June 26 (Reuters) - Shanghai rebar steel futures fell to their lowest in nearly four weeks on Tuesday, with risk appetite weakened by escalating trade tensions between the United States and its trading partners.

Conflicting signals from the Trump administration over proposed restrictions on foreign investment in U.S. technology companies, along with news that recently imposed import tariffs are starting to disrupt supply chains, sent global stock markets tumbling on Monday.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said forthcoming investment restrictions from the department will not be specific to China, but would apply “to all countries that are trying to steal our technology”.

“The abundance of mixed and no less confusing signals are causing massive consternation across all asset classes,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at brokerage OANDA.

The most actively traded October rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 1.8 percent at 3,675 yuan ($561) a tonne. The construction steel product earlier touched 3,663 yuan, its weakest since May 31.

A spike in stockpiles of Chinese steel products after 14 straight weeks of decline, also weighed on sentiment, suggesting softer steel demand in the world’s top consumer.

Inventories of steel products rose 110,000 tonnes to 10.1 million tonnes on Friday, data from Mysteel consultancy showed.

Among steelmaking raw materials, coke futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange were the hardest hit, falling 3.9 percent to settle at 2,025.50 yuan per tonne, just off the session’s low of 2,020 yuan, the weakest since June 7.

Coking coal, the raw material for coke, ended 2.1 percent lower at 1,176 yuan, after hitting a four-week trough of 1,162.50 yuan intraday. Iron ore slipped 0.4 percent to 462.50 yuan.

Top iron ore miners Vale and BHP said they and Samarco have signed a deal with Brazilian authorities that settles a 20 billion reais ($5.30 billion)lawsuit related to a 2015 dam burst that killed 19 people.

BHP said the agreement sets a two-year timeline to reach a settlement over a separate 155 billion reais lawsuit, which will remain suspended while the parties continue to negotiate. It did not give a timeline on when operations may resume.

Spot iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB rose 0.2 percent to $65.49 a tonne on Monday, according to Metal Bulletin. ($1 = 6.5553 Chinese yuan) ($1 = 3.7753 reais) (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr., Editing by Joseph Radford and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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