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MANILA: Iron ore futures climbed more than 3% on Tuesday, with the Dalian benchmark hitting its highest level in 23 weeks, propped up by top steel producer China’s moves to ramp up support for struggling property developers.

China’s securities regulator will allow China- and Hong Kong-listed Chinese property developers to sell additional shares to acquire real estate assets, replenish working capital, or repay debts, lifting a ban on such refinancing to help stabilise the economy.

That follows recent measures to shore up a sector that accounts for a sizeable portion of China’s steel demand, such as the 16 steps outlined by regulators to support the industry, and the fund-raising support that China’s biggest banks have agreed to provide.

“(Such) favourable policies have created a good financing environment for real estate companies,” Huatai Futures analysts said in a note. Benchmark January iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange rose as much as 3.5% to 780 yuan ($108.43) a tonne, its highest since mid-June.

On the Singapore Exchange, the steelmaking ingredient’s most-traded January contract climbed up to 3.1% to $100.40 a tonne. Spot iron ore, meanwhile, may draw further support in the coming days as Chinese steel mills’ “extremely low” inventories could prompt purchases for replenishment and winter storage, Huatai analysts said.

The spot price of benchmark 62%-grade iron ore was at $99.50 a tonne on Monday, compared with $96.50 a week ago, SteelHome consultancy data showed. Other Dalian steelmaking inputs also advanced, with coking coal and coke up 2.7% and 2.4%, respectively, as of 0315 GMT, as traders shrugged off concerns about stringent Covid-19 restrictions that sparked street protests in China over the weekend.

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