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SINGAPORE: Dalian iron ore futures edged higher on Friday, extending its rally since recent support measures for China’s property sector, although the contract is headed for a weekly loss as record-high COVID-19 cases in top steelmaker China weighed on sentiment.

The most-traded January iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.5% to 738.0 yuan ($103.06) a tonne as of 0215 GMT. The benchmark contract has declined about 1% for the week.

On the Singapore Exchange, the benchmark December iron ore was up 0.7% at $96.35 a tonne. The benchmark contract has declined about 2.9% for the week. Iron ore extended recent gains following recent measures to support China’s property sector while China’s State Council said that monetary tools such as cutting banks’ reserve-requirement ration will be used to maintain liquidity, ANZ Research said in a note.

China’s biggest commercial banks have pledged at least $162 billion in fresh credit to property developers, bolstering recent regulatory measures to ease a stifling cash crunch in the sector and triggering a rally in property shares.

China on Friday reported another record high of daily Covid-19 infections, as cities across the country enforce measures and curbs to control outbreaks.

Mainland China’s Health Commission reported 32,943 new coronavirus cases for Nov. 24, compared with 31,656 new cases a day earlier. The most-active rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.4%, hot-rolled coil fell 0.3%, wire rod fell 0.8%, meanwhile stainless steel rose 0.4%.

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