Steel futures slip on oversupply woes

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    BEIJING- Benchmark steel rebar futures in China fell after an industry body forecast that fast-growing output is likely to outweigh slow growth in demand this year.

    The China Iron and Steel Association sees an increasingly obvious trend of oversupply in the sector and pledges to strictly prohibit new steel capacity addition in 2020, according to state-backed China Metallurgical News.

    The most-traded steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, with May expiry, fell 0.7 percent to 3,544 yuan per ton. It gained 0.8 percent last week, boosted by restocking demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday starting from Jan. 24.

    Hot-rolled coil, used in cars and home appliances, slid 0.78 percent to 3,570 yuan per ton.

    Futures of coke, a steelmaking ingredient, on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, slumped as much as 2.1 percent to 1,844 yuan per ton.

    Meanwhile, copper prices rose, ahead of a signing of the US-China Phase 1 trade deal later in the week, although gains were limited as investors exercised caution in the run-up to macro data announcement from top metals consumer China.

    Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.4 percent to $6,222.50 a ton, extending its gains to a sixth straight session. The contract rose 5.3 percent last month on expectation of the trade deal. – Reuters