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MANILA: Iron ore futures rose on Tuesday, with the Dalian benchmark hovering near a five-week high, as China’s moves to ease Covid-19 curbs and support the struggling property sector sparked hopes of a demand recovery.

Ferrous metals on the Shanghai Futures Exchange and other steelmaking inputs on the Dalian Commodity Exchange also advanced, even after data showed on Tuesday that real estate investment in top steel producer China fell at the fastest pace in 32 months in October.

Other indicators also pointed to the world’s second-largest economy still grappling with Covid-19 curbs and a property sector downturn, with factory output growing more slowly and retail sales falling.

While the downtrend continues, China’s property market has shown some positive changes, a National Bureau of Statistics spokesman said. The most-traded Dalian iron ore, for January delivery, ended morning trade 0.8% higher at 724 yuan ($102.80) a tonne.

Earlier in the session, it rose to 727 yuan, not far from Monday’s five-week high of 735.50 yuan. On the Singapore Exchange, the steelmaking ingredient’s benchmark December contract rose 1.6% to $95 a tonne.

China’s October steel output fell 8.3% from the previous month as Covid-19 curbs and a property slump hit demand. Dalian coking coal and Dalian coke advanced 1.5% and 1.8%, respectively.

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