Steel futures inch higher

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    BEIJING- China steel futures edged up on Wednesday on strong demand outlook, but easing supply concerns after top steelmaking city Tangshan lifted its second-level pollution alert checked gains.

    Benchmark steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange for May 2020 delivery inched up 0.2 percent to 3,486 yuan ($495.25) per ton. It had closed at 3,484 yuan per ton.

    Hot-rolled coil, used in cars and home appliances, rose 0.4 percent to 3,539 yuan per ton.

    China’s fiscal expenditures for the January-November period increased 7.7 percent on an annual basis, the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, boosting demand outlook for steel.

    China’s top steel producing city Tanghan removed its “orange smog alert” on Tuesday noon, according to government-backed media, relieving supply pressures amid improving air quality.

    The most-traded iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May 2020 delivery, fell for the third straight session, down 0.3 percent to 639 yuan per ton.

    China produced 79.25 million tons of iron ore in November, up 3.9 percent compared with a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. – Reuters

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