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SINGAPORE: Iron ore futures rose on Tuesday, buoyed by expectations of economic stimulus measures to shore up the Chinese economy and anticipated robust demand.

The most-traded May iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.9% after a brief dip in the previous session, to 979.5 yuan ($137.12) per metric ton as of 0300 GMT.

On the Singapore Exchange, the benchmark January iron ore was up 0.5% at $138.7 a metric ton, rallying for the third consecutive session. China’s top planning body said on Saturday it had identified a second batch of public investment projects under a bond issuance and investment plan announced in October to boost the economy.

Five of China’s largest state banks lowered interest rates on some deposits on Friday, offering the prospect of reduced lending costs at a time when the government is urging banks to support the economy. In addition, analysts expect a probable surge in demand for iron ore in the following weeks as Chinese steelmakers replenish raw materials to maintain production needs over the Lunar New Year holiday break. Meanwhile, a few cities in northern China, including the steel production hub Tangshan, have announced plans to initiate emergency responses, citing worsening air pollution.

Local steelmakers are typically required to curb production in such situations, weighing on demand for steelmaking raw materials and supporting prices of steel products.

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