It's a historic day for iron ore markets

Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
  • Iron ore spot markets closed mixed on Thursday after soaring a day earlier.
  • Chinese iron ore and rebar futures fell in overnight trade, hinting that spot markets may follow suit in early trade on Friday.
  • Today marks the first time foreign investors will be able to buy and sell Chinese iron ore futures.

Iron ore spot markets finished mixed on Thursday, recording small movements across the grades.

Another reversal in Chinese futures, mirroring the price action of a day earlier, largely explains the mixed performance.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines fell 0.2% to $66.87 a tonne, reversing modestly after surging 2.4% a day earlier.

Lower grades went in the other direction with the price of 58% fines rising 0.2% to $40.02 a tonne.

Fitting with the overall theme of the session, 65% fines closed flat at $85.30 a tonne.

Mixed, right?

The iffy price action followed a big reversal in Chinese rebar and iron ore futures during Thursday’s day session.

After closing Wednesday’s night session at 3,724 yuan, rebar futures, after trading as high as 3,733 yuan, finished down 0.1% at 3,673 yuan.

That performance was mirrored by iron ore futures in Dalian which finished at 474 yuan, down from Wednesday’s night session close of 479.5 yuan. It briefly traded as high as 482 yuan on Thursday.

As seen in the scoreboard below, both contracts continued to slide in overnight trade.

SHFE Rebar ¥3,659 , -0.97%
DCE Iron Ore ¥468.00 , -1.89%

While the declines suggest spot markets may start off on a softer footing today, that comes with the disclaimer that movements in overnight trade have not been best indicator of late.

Adding extra intrigue to today’s session, it will also mark the first time that foreign investors will be able to buy and sell iron ore futures.

Trade will get underway from 11am AEST.

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