UPDATE 1-Iron ore ticks higher on China steel demand optimism

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Dalian iron ore up for fourth straight session

* Singapore iron ore set for third session of gains

* China’s Aug export orders shake off COVID-19 gloom

* Tangshan announces fresh steel output curbs – SMM (Updates prices, adds graphics)

By Enrico Dela Cruz

MANILA, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Iron ore futures inched higher on Tuesday, as a private survey showing forecast-beating China factory activity growth in August helped market participants shrug off worries over fresh sintering curbs in the world’s top steel producer.

Iron ore’s most-traded January 2021 contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange closed the session up 0.2% at 846.50 yuan ($124.06) a tonne, extending gains into a fourth session.

The Singapore Exchange’s October contract rose 0.6% to $119.02 a tonne in afternoon trade and was on track for a third consecutive session of gains.

China’s August factory activity expanded at the fastest clip in nearly a decade, bolstered by the first increase in new export orders this year, a private survey showed.

The survey mirrored the official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) improving trend in new export orders, which together with solid growth in the services sector indicated a continued recovery in China from the coronavirus shock.

Although China’s official PMI showed slower August factory activity growth, it remains in expansionary territory, said Daniel Hynes, a senior commodity strategist at ANZ.

“Steel mills in China remain confident that government stimulus measures will boost demand. With sentiment so strong, a sell-off in iron ore futures looks less likely,” he said in a note.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot iron ore bound for China rose towards 6-1/2-year highs, with the benchmark 62% material at $126 a tonne on Monday, SteelHome consultancy data showed. SH-CCN-IRN0R62

* The government in China’s steelmaking centre, Tangshan city, has announced another round of steel production cuts to ensure good air quality, requiring some mills to shut sintering machines and shaft furnaces, industry data provider SMM reported.

* Construction steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.3%, while hot-rolled coil climbed 1.2%. Stainless steel slipped 0.1%.

* Dalian coking coal rose 2.1%, while coke jumped 1.7%

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