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China steel futures end higher as stimulus spurs demand hopes

Steel futures in China closed higher on Monday, with construction rebar extending gains into a fourth session, on hopes that favourable monetary policies will boost demand.

China’s new loans in March rose sharply to 2.85 trillion yuan ($405 billion), beating a forecast of 1.8 trillion yuan, as the central bank pumped in more liquidity and cut funding costs to support the coronavirus-hit economy.

Its household loans also rebounded to 989.1 billion yuan last month from a net decline in February.

The most-actively traded steel rebar futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for October delivery, ended 1.7% higher at 3,387 yuan per tonne, a three-week high. The contract had risen as much as 2.6% at 3,417 yuan per tonne.

Hot-rolled coil, used in the manufacturing sector such as cars and home appliances, closed up 1.6% to 3,220 yuan a tonne.

Mills in China also picked up production on resuming demand from downstream sectors. Utilisation rates at blast furnaces in 247 steel firms tracked by Mysteel consultancy rose to 78.81%, as of April 10.

The June contract of stainless steel futures rose 1.1% to 12,510 yuan a tonne.

* Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodities Exchange edged down 0.1% to 596 yuan a tonne.

* Dalian coking coal climbed 0.5% to 1,132 yuan a tonne and Dalian coke was up 1.1% to 1,730 yuan per tonne.

* Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China rose by $0.3 to $84.3 a tonne on Friday.

* China’s Iron and Steel Association said provisional anti-dumping duties the EU has imposed on some of China’s stainless steel products are excessive.

* More than 1.8 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 113,849 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

* French companies in the automotive, aerospace and steel sectors are ready to return to work and assure “impeccable, sanitary conditions”, the country’s metals lobby said on Sunday, and called on the government to spell out France’s plans.

* The European Commission has imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on some stainless steel products from China, Indonesia and Taiwan, according to the official EU journal, nearly eight months after launching a probe into low-price imports.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Uttaresh.V)

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