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Dalian iron ore records first weekly loss in seven amid price surveillance

Dalian iron ore futures were set for their first weekly loss in seven as Beijing continued to intervene in the market to regulate prices, though the contract gained on Friday due to upbeat factory data.

The most-traded January iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 2% at 975.5 yuan ($136.55) per metric ton at closing.

This week, Dalian iron ore prices lost 0.12%.

On the Singapore Exchange, the benchmark January iron ore was 0.9% higher at $129.58 a metric ton.

The benchmark contract declined 2.1% this week, its first loss after five straight weekly gains.

Caution heightened after the world’s top consumer issued warnings on enhancing supervision on the market to curb a price rally.

China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange said on Thursday it will continue to strengthen its supervision of iron ore futures and resolutely maintain the safe and stable operation of the market.

Despite the initial success in price management, prices are currently staging a rebound.

Lifting sentiment, China’s factory activity unexpectedly expanded in November, driven by rising orders, a private survey showed on Friday. However, sluggish external demand continues to weigh on manufacturers.

The optimism on iron ore could expand if Beijing rolls out more structural reforms. China’s demand for steel in electric vehicles and green infrastructure has already kept average prices high despite the property slump.

China’s new home prices rose slightly for a third straight month in November, a private survey showed on Friday, as the crisis-hit property sector struggles to stabilise despite a slew of government support measures.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mixed. The most-active rebar contract SRBcv1, hot-rolled coil, and wire rod SWRcv1 all witnessed a 1% rise. Meanwhile, stainless steel lost 2%.

Other steelmaking ingredients Dalian coking coal DJMcv1 and coke were up 2.7% and 1.5% respectively.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ashley Fang; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sohini Goswami)

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