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China steel and iron ore hit 2 week top on demand outlook

Steel and iron ore futures in China climbed to their highest levels in two weeks buoyed by hopes that government efforts to stimulate the economy would spur demand.

The most traded rebar contract for January delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange hit a session peak of CNY 3,123 per tonne, its highest since July 17. It was up 1% at CNY 3,115 by midday.

Iron ore for delivery in January on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the most active contract, rose to CNY 692 a tonne, a level last seen on July 18, before also paring gains at the close to CNY 684, up 1.2 percent.

China has since April been steadily fueling economic activity by reducing the amount of cash that some banks have to hold as reserves to increase lending, instructing regional governments to quicken spending and hastening the construction of railways and public housing.

However, the HSBC/Markit China services purchasing managers' index fell to 50 in July, the lowest reading since November 2005, indicating a recovery in the broader economy is still fragile and may need further government support.