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BEIJING: Dalian iron ore futures fell for a fourth consecutive session on Thursday amid concerns over steel demand in top consumer China, while prices in Singapore edged up on a softer dollar.

The most-traded May iron ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ended daytime trade 1.49% lower at 893.5 yuan ($124.28) a metric ton. Despite Beijing taking further steps to address the issues in the property sector, the market doesn’t expect housing demand to recover anytime soon, analysts at ANZ bank said in a note. Uncertainty in the infrastructure sector after Beijing ordered some indebted local governments to halt some projects is also casting a shadow on steel demand prospects, analysts said.

“The increase in ore demand will be relatively slow in the near term as downstream demand has not recovered yet and it’s hard to see any obvious improvement in steel margins,” analysts at Sinosteel Futures said in a note.

Meanwhile, the benchmark March iron ore on the Singapore Exchange rose 0.15% to $119.25 a ton, as of 0707 GMT. The dollar index ticked down, making greenback-priced cargoes less expensive for holders of other currencies.

Ex-tropical cyclone Lincoln is expected to intensify back to cyclonic strengths on Thursday night hitting Australia’s northwest, the country’s weather bureau said, as ports across the region began clearing ships from the site.

“It’s worth monitoring the impact of weather on shipments; also, there is still strong expectation of production ramping up after downstream steel demand may show signs of improvement by the end of February,” analysts at First Futures said in a note.

Other steelmaking ingredients on the DCE advanced, with coking coal and coke up 4.12% and 2.98%, respectively, finding continuous support from worries about supply after China’s top coal-producing region of Shanxi ordered miners to curb overproduction.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mixed. Rebar added 0.24% and stainless steel rose 1.17%, while wire rod and hot-rolled coil shed 0.15%.

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