The rally in iron ore markets came to a shuddering halt on Thursday with steep declines recorded across all grades.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62 per cent fines slipped 1.2 per cent to $66.59 a tonne, snapping a three-day winning streak in the process.

The benchmark had rallied in six of the past seven sessions prior to Thursday’s fall.

After outperforming in recent days, high-flying 58 per cent fines succumbed to profit-taking, slumping 2.1 per cent to settle at $42.45 a tonne.

The price for 65 per cent Brazilian fines also softened, sliding 0.8 per cent to $82.70 a tonne.

The reversal coincided with weakness in Chinese steel futures during the session, dragging bulk commodity contracts lower.

A broader selloff in Chinese financial markets, sparked by the arrest of a senior Chinese business executive by Canadian authorities on behalf of the US government, may have also contributed to the decline in commodity futures markets on Thursday.

However, after sliding in day trade, those losses were either trimmed or reversed during Thursday’s night session.

Having closed at 507 and 1,411.5 yuan respectively on Wednesday evening, the January 2019 iron ore and coking coal contracts edged higher. In contrast, rebar, hot-rolled coil and coke futures weakened from 3,761, 3,663 and 2,330.5 yuan respectively over the same period.

The mixed price performance provides few clues as to what direction spot markets are likely to move on Friday.

Trade in Chinese commodity futures will resume at midday AEDT.


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