Iron ore slips; copper eases

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    SHANGHAI- Benchmark Dalian iron ore futures inched lower in early trade on Thursday on fresh output curbs in China due to pollution, while the market was also cautious after the world’s two largest economies sealed the first phase of a trade agreement.

    The United States and China agreed to roll back some tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of US products, defusing an 18-month row between the two sides, but leaving a number of sore spots unresolved.

    The Dalian Commodity Exchange’s most-traded iron ore contract with May expiry dipped 0.3 percent to 665 yuan per ton.

    Iron ore prices were also pressured by fresh output curbs when China’s top steelmaking city Tangshan issued a second-level heavy pollution alert on Wednesday evening, according to local government-backed media.

    Spot prices of the benchmark 62 percent iron-content ore, as tracked by SteelHome consultancy, held steady at 96.5$ per ton on Wednesday, unchanged from previous session but still hovering around a near four month high.

    Meanwhile, copper prices fell on investor doubts that the recently signed US-China trade agreement would improve metals demand. – Reuters