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Iron ore is sliding again

Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images

After exploding higher at the start of last week and posting its largest one-day increase on record, the iron ore price continued to soften on Friday, falling by more than 1%.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by 1.43%, or 83 cents to $57.09 a tonne, trimming its year to date advance to 33.1%.

It was the fourth straight decline recorded, and left the benchmark price down 10.4% from the multi month peak of $63.74 a tonne struck on Monday. Despite the recent weakness, at 6.2%, the weekly rise was the largest seen since July last year.

Mirroring the move in the spot price, Chinese iron ore and rebar futures continued to fall on Friday evening, suggesting that further weakness may materialise today.

The May 2016 iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange last traded at 426.0 yuan, down 1.5% for the session. May 2016 rebar futures on the Shanghai Futures exchange were down by a similar margin, sliding 1.42% to 2078 yuan.

While the movements in futures markets have been wild of late, fuelled by increased speculative forces, should the declines be sustained during today’s day session beginning at 12pm AEDT, it points to the likelihood that the spot iron ore price may slide for a fifth session on Monday.

Over the weekend most Chinese economic data for February missed expectations, although there was a noticeable acceleration in urban fixed asset investment led by a sharp pick-up in property construction. This too may be influential on the spot iron ore market today.

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