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MANILA: Iron ore futures rose on Friday, with the Singapore benchmark vaulting back above the $120 per metric ton level, buoyed by China’s policy support for its economy and after Rio Tinto halted work at a Pilbara mining site following an incident.

Lending further support, China’s imported iron ore stockpiles at major ports hit a three-year low this week at 115.92 million tons due to higher discharge volumes and fewer new arrivals, according to consultancy Mysteel.

The steelmaking feed, however, was on track for a weekly fall amid persistent concerns about top steel producer China’s troubled property sector. Benchmark October iron ore on the Singapore Exchange was up 3.2% at $121.20 per ton, as of 0724 GMT. It has fallen more than 1% this week after scaling a six-month peak last week. The most-traded January iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange ended daytime trade 0.9% higher at 871.50 yuan ($119.38) per ton. Traders cheered state media reports saying China would continue to break down barriers to market access and increase policy support for the private economy, citing 22 measures issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation.

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