July 23, 2018, 2:09 am
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Steel rises on speculative trading

Prices of steel and its raw materials rose to multi-week highs in China on Thursday, a rally that traders say may be fueled by speculative investors as demand for steelmaking ingredients looks set to get dented by Beijing’s steel production curbs.

Coking coal futures surged as much as 5 percent and coke jumped nearly 6 percent, while iron ore and steel rose about 3 percent, before prices eased from session highs.

“I think some speculators are getting back into the market to push up prices,” said a coke trader in Tianjin. “These are some short-term traders.”

Demand for iron ore and coking coal would be reduced, the trader said, as northern Chinese cities require their steel mills to cut output over winter, or from this month through March, as part of China’s campaign to fight smog.

The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 2.5 percent at 3,829 yuan ($578) a ton by 0238 GMT after touching a two-week high of 3,846 yuan earlier. Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange climbed as far as 479.50 yuan per ton, its strongest since Sept. 21, but pared its gains to trade at 474 yuan, up 1.7 percent.

Coking coal was last up 3.9 percent at 1,228 yuan per ton and coke rose 4.9 percent to 1,928.50 yuan. Coking coal initially touched a seven-week high and coke hit a three-week peak. – Reuters
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