May 19, 2020 / 7:47 AM / 6 days ago

UPDATE 1-China iron ore rises for fifth day on demand outlook, supply issues

* Dalian iron ore gains 3.6%, Singapore futures rise 1.4%

* Benchmark spot 62% iron ore jumps to four-month high

* China’s parliament to focus on reviving virus-hit economy (Updates with chart, closing prices)

By Enrico Dela Cruz

MANILA, May 19 (Reuters) - Chinese iron ore futures rose for a fifth straight session on Tuesday, supported by a bullish outlook for domestic demand stemming from hopes of more stimulus, while global supply-related issues also aided sentiment.

Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 3.6% to close at 711 yuan ($100.07) a tonne, and gained 13% over the five-day rally.

On the Singapore Exchange, the front-month June contract was up 1.4% at $92.56 a tonne in afternoon trade, after rising 3.4% in the previous session.

Analysts said the overall market sentiment was upbeat, lifted by positive data from an early-stage trial for a COVID-19 vaccine and ahead of the Chinese parliament’s key annual session on Friday.

China’s parliament begins its annual session this week and is expected to unveil stimulus measures to spur an economy battered by the coronavirus.

“Adding to positive sentiment was China flagging more stimulus at the upcoming National People’s Congress,” said Tapas Strickland, director of economics at National Australia Bank, citing China’s plans to develop its western regions.

“We expect the growth momentum in the economy will continue to be carried forward in the coming months,” said Helen Lau, analyst at Argonaut Securities. “Steel demand will continue to be underpinned.”

FUNDAMENTALS

* A potential further disruption to major iron ore supplier Brazil’s exports due to the epidemic also supported prices, with the spot 62% grade scaling a four-month peak at $95.70 a tonne on Monday, SteelHome data showed. SH-CCN-IRNOR62

* Construction steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 1.4%, while hot-rolled coil gained 1.3% and stainless steel advanced 0.5%.

* Coking coal climbed 3.0% and coke added 1.4%

* Top iron ore supplier Australia said it is not in a trade war with China, a day after China announced import tariffs on Australian barley.

($1 = 7.1051 yuan)

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; editing by Uttaresh.V

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