Steel reinforcement-bar futures headed for a second monthly gain in Shanghai on optimism that growth will accelerate in the world’s fastest-expanding major economy, boosting demand for the building material.
Rebar for delivery in May was unchanged at 4,114 yuan ($662) a metric ton at 11:11 a.m. local time on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. The contract is headed for a 3.2 percent gain this month and reached 4,131 yuan yesterday, the highest price since June.
The official Purchasing Managers’ Index was 51 in January, compared with 50.6 in December, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey before data due Feb. 1. That would be the fourth month of expansion in the manufacturing index gauge and follows an acceleration in gross domestic product to 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
“Investors expect rebar demand to pick up after the Lunar New Year as the recent indicators point to economic expansion,” Dang Man, an analyst at Maike Futures Co., said in a report today.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP), the benchmark of the local equity market, climbed 1 percent to 2,382.48 yesterday, the highest close since May 30, boosting the bullish case for the economy, Dang said.
Spot iron ore at Tianjin port jumped 0.7 percent to $149.40 a dry ton yesterday, according to The Steel Index Ltd. The average spot price for rebar was up 0.3 percent yesterday at 3,743 yuan a ton, according to data from Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.
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