Iron-ore climbs on China support measures; set for weekly fall

22nd September 2023 By: Reuters

Iron-ore futures rose on Friday, buoyed by reports of China's support measures for businesses and after Rio Tinto said it paused work at a mining site in the Pilbara region following an incident.

The steelmaking feed, however, was on track for a weekly fall amid persistent concerns about top steel producer China's troubled property sector.

Iron ore's benchmark October contract on the Singapore Exchange SZZFV3 was up 2% at $119.80 per metric ton, as of 0422 GMT. It has fallen more than 2% this week after scaling a six-month peak last week.

The most-traded January iron ore on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange DCIOcv1 ended morning trade 0.6% higher at 869 yuan ($119.03) per ton.

Traders cheered state media reports saying China would continue to break down barriers to market access and increase policy support for the private economy, citing 22 measures issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation.

Rio Tinto, the world's biggest iron ore producer, said it was pausing work at a Pilbara site in Australia, after a Pilbara scrub tree and a one square metre rock fell from the overhang of a rock shelter in an area adjacent to the site.

Iron ore's gains on Friday were muted, however, while steel benchmarks and prices of other steelmaking ingredients in China fell.

Ratings agency Moody's on Thursday revised its outlook on four Chinese real estate firms to "Negative" from "Stable", a week after it revised the outlook on the country's crisis-hit property sector to "Negative".

"China's sluggish growth and investor concerns over the property and financial sectors look set to persist," Westpac analysts said in a note.

Rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SRBcv1 shed 0.4%, hot-rolled coil SHHCcv1 dipped 0.2%, wire rod SWRcv1 lost 1.5%, and stainless steel SHSScv1 dropped 0.6%.

Coking coal DJMcv1 and coke DCJcv1 on the Dalian exchange fell 1.6% and 0.3%, respectively.