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BEIJING: Chinese steel and iron ore futures jumped on Monday after a week-long Lunar New Year break, as market sentiment shored up by hopes of economic stimulus after the state planner called for faster infrastructure constructions.

The National Development and Reform Commission said over the weekend that authorities should be preemptive due to relatively big uncertainties in the first quarter, and to appropriately bring forward infrastructure investment, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. The most-active construction-used steel rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, for May delivery, jumped 2.2% to 4,868 yuan ($765.43) per tonne as of 0330 GMT, its highest level since Oct. 21.

Hot rolled coils, used in the manufacturing sector, also gained 2.2% to 4,989 yuan a tonne.

Stainless steel futures on the Shanghai bourse, for March delivery, leaped 3.5% to 18,000 yuan per tonne. Benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, boosted by steel prices, surged 3.5% to an over five-month high of 823 yuan a tonne. However, industry is watching out for government moves on the sector as the state planner warned ahead of holidays that there was speculation in iron ore trading and it would take measures to stabilise prices.

Other steelmaking raw materials on the Dalian exchange were mixed, with coking coal rising 1.7% to 2,306 yuan per tonne while coke futures down 0.4% to 3,000 yuan a tonne.

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