Pollution curbs, investment drive, buoy iron ore

Iron ore and steel futures rose on Friday as investors weighed the latest trade data from China.

Rebar headed for its biggest weekly gain in two months as China’s plan to curb pollution raised prospects for supply cuts as investors seek to gauge the outlook for demand.

While China’s steel output declined in October, year-to-date production remains higher than 2018, according to data released Thursday.

Separately, the government announced a reduction in capital requirements for some infrastructure projects on Wednesday, signalling ongoing concern about the level of investment.

SGX was very well supported Friday, with Dalian futures up over 3%, Dec traded up to 83.50 but settled at 83.00.

Spreads were wider, Dec/Jan up to 1.95, Jan/Feb 1.65, Q1/Q2 4.00 before narrowing with Dec/Jan at 1.80 as London trading progressed, Dec back below 83.