Iron ore markets are unusually quiet

ANDREW YATES / AFP / Getty Images

Iron ore spot markets finished mixed on Thursday in quiet trade.

And with Chinese futures doing little overnight, it sets the stage for another slow day on Friday.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by a further 0.13% to $55.36 a tonne, extending its decline from February 21 to 41.6%.

It currently sits at the lowest level since July 8, 2016.

While the benchmark price weakened, other grades pushed higher, and in some instances by quite a margin.

The price for 58% fines rose again, adding 0.8% to $39.08 a tonne, while 65% Brazilian Fe ore added 10 cents to $71.60 a tonne.

The modest gains across most grades followed renewed strength in Chinese steel prices, ignoring another plunge in Chinese iron ore futures earlier in the session.

“North China’s spot rebar prices increased amid active trading on Thursday while those in the eastern part of the country held steady,” said Metal Bulletin. “Buying interest in the Beijing market remained strong during the day and pushed up spot prices further.”

Providing no indication as to which direction iron ore spot markets will move today, Chinese commodity futures finished mixed in overnight trade.

The September 2017 iron ore future on the Dalian Commodities Exchange fell 1.16% to 424.5 yuan, closing around the same levels as Thursday’s day session.

Rebar, coking coal and coke futures bucked the trend, posting modest gains.

SHFE Rebar ¥2,980 , 0.27%
DCE Iron Ore ¥424.50 , -1.16%
DCE Coking Coal ¥979.00 , 0.67%
DCE Coke ¥1,428.50 , 0.46%

Chinese futures will resume trade at 11am AEST, 30 minutes before the release of Chinese consumer and producer price inflation figures for May.

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