Steel reinforcement-bar futures climbed to the highest in almost nine months after data showed China’s service industries grew at the fastest pace since August.
Rebar for delivery in May gained by 1.3 percent to close at 4,221 yuan ($678) a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. The contract earlier rose to 4,235 yuan a ton, the highest since May 7, 2012.
China’s services industries rose as gains in retailing and construction aided government efforts to drive a recovery. The non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 56.2 in January from 56.1 in December, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing said in a statement yesterday. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
“The data has shown that the demand is improving and that companies’ confidence in the economy will strengthen,” Fang Guodong, an analyst at Wanda Futures Co., said in a report today.
Declining inventory of iron ore in China also supported the rebar price, Fang said. Total iron ore inventory at 30 major ports tracked by Mysteel.com fell for the fourth week by Feb. 1 to 67.8 million tons, the industry website said today.
Spot iron ore at Tianjin port rose for a third day on Feb. 1, advancing 0.5 percent to $153.20 a dry ton, according to The Steel Index Ltd. The average spot price for rebar gained 0.7 percent to 3,782 yuan a ton today, according to data from Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.
— With assistance by Feiwen Rong