It's getting awfully quiet in iron ore markets

GREG BAKER / AFP / Getty Images

Iron ore spot markets finished mixed on Monday with the benchmark price gaining modestly while both lower and higher grade ores fell.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines rose by 0.9% to $US81.13 a tonne, bucking another steep fall in Chinese futures seen during the session.

While the benchmark price rebounded after two days of losses, that strength was the exception rather than the rule, particularly for lower grade ore.

The spot price for 58% fines tumbled 1.9% to $US58.06 a tonne, following a 2.53% drop on Friday.

Only days before the start of Chinese New Year celebrations, analysts at Metal Bulletin said that with more participants leaving the market ahead of the week-long holiday, both the spot and futures markets saw limited trading.

That may explain the divergence between the benchmark spot price and Dalian futures on Monday.

In overnight trade, Chinese rebar, iron ore, coke and coking coal futures all rebounded after several days of losses although, after the performance seen on Monday, it’s debatable as to whether that signals the likelihood of strength in spot markets on Tuesday.

All contracts finished with gains of between 0.85% to 1.8%, with iron ore leading the charge higher.

SHFE Copper ¥46,820 , -0.40%
SHFE Aluminium ¥13,790 , -0.04%
SHFE Zinc ¥22,720 , 0.46%
SHFE Nickel ¥82,110 , -0.55%
SHFE Rebar ¥3,229 , 1.73%
DCE Iron Ore ¥622.00 , 1.80%
DCE Coking Coal ¥1,189.00 , 1.36%
DCE Coke ¥1,603.50 , 0.85%

Trade in Chinese commodity futures will resume at Midday AEDT.

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