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Rebar Gains for Second Month on Optimism for China Growth

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Steel reinforcement-bar futures rose for a second month 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 closed 0.3 percent higher today at 4,127 yuan ($664) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, bringing this month’s gains to 3.5 percent. The contract also 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, the benchmark of the local equity market, climbed for a second month, 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 rose 0.3 percent today to 3,752 yuan a ton, according to data from Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Feiwen Rong in Beijing at frong2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net

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