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Iron ore imported into China hits an 18-month low

Iron ore

Mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto finished near multi-month lows yesterday, and weakened in overseas trade

A downbeat week leaned towards a lacklustre conclusion following a mixed finish on Wall Street as investors weighed corporate earnings, lingering rates worries and a seasonal uptick in Covid cases.

ASX futures inched up eight points or 0.11 per cent. The S&P/ASX 200 is 64 points in the red for the week following solid falls through Tuesday and Wednesday. The market steadied yesterday, edging up nine points or 0.13 per cent.

Iron ore imported into China dropped to an 18-month low. Oil and copper bounced back. Gold eased from a five-month peak.

The local market looks set for a second straight losing week, thanks to pressure through the middle of the week as first, the miners, then the banks, sold off. The ASX 200 steadied yesterday with an up-tick of nine points but there does not appear to be enough in the overnight leads to make a serious dent in the weekly deficit.

Strength in the banks has helped the market ride out a collapse in iron ore over the last few months. This week’s poorly-received update from Commonwealth Bank suggests the other pillar of the market is also wobbling.

Mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto finished near multi-month lows yesterday, and weakened in overseas trade. While BHP’s US-listed stock eased a mere 0.01 per cent, its UK-listed stock gave up 1.14 per cent. Rio Tinto declined 1.25 per cent in the US and 1.74 per cent in the UK.

Iron ore sank to its lowest since May 2020 amid reports of Chinese steel mills moving to care and maintenance as demand collapses. The spot price for ore landed at Tianjin slid US$2.75 or 3.1 per cent to US$87.20 a tonne. The most-traded contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange dropped 5.1 per cent.


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