Iron ore futures give up gains

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    BEIJING- China’s iron ore futures fell in morning trade on Wednesday, retreating from robust gains made in the past two sessions, after economic data raised doubts about whether the country’s manufacturing sector is bottoming out.

    Benchmark iron ore futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May 2020 delivery, dropped as much as 1.5 percent to 645 yuan ($91.63) per ton. It was down 0.5 percent at 652 yuan.

    Factory-gate prices, a key indicator of corporate profitability, fell 1.4 percent year-on-year in November, National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday, suggesting a still weak demand despite hints of improvement in recent factory surveys.

    Steel futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, however, extended gains on firm demand outlook.

    China’s central bank on Tuesday released new bank loans data for November, which showed household loans — mostly mortgages — rising to 683.1 billion yuan last month from 421 billion yuan in October.

    Construction steel rebar futures, for May 2020 delivery, rose 0.7 percent to 3,538 yuan per ton.

    January hot-rolled coil contract, used in cars and home appliances, jumped 1.5 percent to 3,733 yuan per ton. – Reuters