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Rebar Extends Decline as Leading Index Signals Slower Recovery

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Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Steel reinforcement-bar futures dropped after a leading indicator for China’s economy rose at a slower pace, boosting concern that demand growth for the construction material may slow.

Rebar for delivery in May fell 0.8 percent to 3,789 yuan ($608) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Futures have lost 10 percent this year after growth in China, the second-biggest economy, slowed.

The leading indicator rose 1.1 percent in November from a revised 1.6 percent gain the previous month, the New York-based Conference Board said today. This month, futures surged 9.2 percent to yesterday’s close, outpacing the 1.9 percent gain in spot prices. China is the world’s largest steel user.

“We’ve had a rally that was largely pinned on people’s optimistic outlook for a faster economic recovery and therefore steel consumption,” Lv Xiaohua, an analyst at Everbright Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “The immediate market is not reinforcing that view.”

The average spot price fell 0.1 percent to 3,628 yuan a ton today, the first loss in four days, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. Spot iron ore at Tianjin port gained 2.4 percent to $135.50 a dry ton yesterday, the highest since July, according data from The Steel Index Ltd.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: William Bi in Beijing at wbi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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