Steel reinforcement-bar futures recovered from the lowest level in more than five months as the European Central Bank reduced interest rates to a record and U.S. jobless claims fell, boosting the outlook for demand.
The contract for October delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced as much as 1.9 percent to 3,610 yuan ($586) a metric ton, before trading at 3,599 by 11:10 a.m. local time. Futures lost 1.6 percent to 3,542 yuan yesterday, the lowest most-active price at close since Nov. 30. Futures, little changed this week, lost 6.2 percent in the past two weeks.
The ECB lowered its main refinancing rate to 0.5 percent yesterday from 0.75 percent. In the U.S., applications for unemployment benefits fell 18,000 to 324,000 in the week to April 27, the fewest since January 2008, while consumer sentiment climbed to the highest in more than five years.
“Rebar benefited from slightly improved sentiment,” Ren Xinlei, analyst at Luzheng Futures Co., said by phone from Qingdao today. Gains will be limited after iron ore prices declined, he said.
Spot iron ore at Tianjin port dropped 3.5 percent yesterday to $129.40 a dry ton, the lowest since December 14, Steel Index Ltd. data show. The average spot price for rebar fell 0.2 percent to 3,568 yuan a ton yesterday, according to the Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.
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