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Iron ore extends gain on easing China demand concern, Fed rate cut bets

Iron ore futures rose for a second straight session on Friday, underpinned by easing concerns over demand prospects in top consumer China and firming bets for a U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate cut in September.

The most-traded September iron ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ended daytime trade 0.72% higher at 839.5 yuan ($115.90) a metric ton, after an increase of nearly 1% on Thursday.

The benchmark July iron ore SZZFN4 on the Singapore Exchange was 0.51% higher at $109.35 a ton, as of 0804 GMT.

The market expects daily hot metal output to stay above the current level amid talks of a production cut of up to 20 million tons of crude steel this year, analysts at Jinrui Futures said in a note.

The National Development and Reform Commission, which said in early April it would continue to manage crude steel output in 2024, has yet to respond to a Reuters’ request for comment sent on Thursday.

Average daily hot metal output among steelmakers surveyed fell for a third consecutive week, down 0.03% on week to 2.36 million tons as of June 7, data from consultancy Mysteel showed.

“Some traders closed their short positions for steel products amid market talk of steel cut, contributing to a rebound in the ferrous market,” analysts at Hongyuan Futures said in a note.

A softening U.S. dollar =USD amid recent weaker-than-expected data that has reinforced hopes of a rate cut, also supported broad commodities including iron ore and steel, said analysts.

China’s iron ore imports in May stayed above 100 million metric tons for a third straight month, bringing the total in the first five months to 513.75 million tons, a year-on-year rise of 7%, customs data showed.

Other steelmaking ingredients on the DCE advanced, with coking coal DJMcv1 and coke DCJcv1 up 0.34% and 0.85%, respectively.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were higher. Rebar SRBcv1 ticked up 0.36%, hot-rolled coil SHHCcv1 and wire rod SWRcv1 added 0.26%, and stainless steel SHSScv1 gained 0.21%.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Amy Lv and Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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