Steel reinforcement-bar futures ended near the highest level in more than six months as optimism over a recovery in China’s growth countered concerns that winter may curb demand for the material used in construction.
Rebar for delivery in May closed little changed at 4,069 yuan ($654) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange today, reversing earlier losses. The most-active contract reached 4,085 yuan on Jan. 25, the highest price since July 6.
“Demand for the steel products will pick up as the country recovers from a two-year economic slowdown,” Shenyin Wanguo Futures Co. said in a report today.
The preliminary reading of a Purchasing Managers’ Index in January showed Chinese manufacturing expanding at the fastest rate in two years. If confirmed by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics in their final report on Feb. 1, the gauge would bolster prospects economic growth will accelerate from the 7.9 percent pace of the fourth quarter.
Spot iron ore at Tianjin port was little changed at $148.40 a dry ton yesterday, according to The Steel Index Ltd. The average spot price for rebar was unchanged at 3,733 yuan a ton today, according to data from Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.