September 25, 2019 / 8:12 AM / in 8 months

UPDATE 1-China's stainless steel futures slip on debut as trade war worries bite

* Shanghai stainless steel falls up to 2% in first day of trade

* China seeks to enhance pricing influence for stainless steel

* Dalian coke slumps more than 3%, coking coal extends losses (Updates with closing prices, chart)

By Enrico Dela Cruz and Tom Daly

MANILA/BEIJING, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Chinese stainless steel futures fell as much as 2% in their first day of trading on Wednesday as the latest episode in the bruising trade war between Washington and Beijing fanned concerns about ferrous metals demand.

The front-month February 2020 stainless steel contract fell to a low of 15,280 yuan ($2,147.45) on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) from a base price of 15,585 yuan, before closing down 0.1% at 15,575 yuan.

In a speech on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would no longer tolerate China’s trade practices, and that he would not accept a “bad deal” in their trade negotiations.

“Trump’s speech cast a pall on investor sentiment, and that’s hurting a lot of commodities markets,” said Daniel Hynes, a senior commodity strategist at ANZ Research.

China’s foreign minister and state councilor Wang Yi said Beijing would not bow to threats, including on trade, while expressing hopes that a round of high-level trade talks next month would produce positive results.

The trade dispute, which has darkened the economic growth outlook for China and developing Asia, could well persist into 2020, the Asian Development Bank said on Wednesday.

China is in no rush to follow other countries in significantly loosening monetary policy, though it has ample options to help prop up slowing growth, its central bank head said on Tuesday.

Stainless steel’s market debut saw trading volume reached 186,460 lots of five tonnes each, with only a few companies participating in the first batch of trade.

“The launch of stainless steel futures provides an effective risk management tool for companies,” said ShFE Chairman Jiang Yan in a speech during the launching ceremony.

“It will also enhance China’s pricing influence as the world’s biggest stainless steel producer and consumer.”

China’s stainless steel inventory has been rising amid a downbeat demand outlook, putting further pressure on prices.

FUNDAMENTALS

* China’s stainless steel stockpiles have doubled from the start of the year and stood at 588,000 tonnes as of Sept. 12, according to data from Argonaut Securities, up 37% year on year.

* Coke, a steelmaking raw material, led losses in China’s ferrous metals futures markets as demand slowed amid output curbs on steel and coke due to a stricter anti-smog campaign ahead of China’s National Day celebrations next week.

* The most-traded coke contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed down 2.3% at 1,895.50 yuan a tonne, after dropping as much as 3.3% earlier in the session.

* Dalian coking coal extended losses into a seventh session, falling nearly 1% to 1,256 yuan a tonne.

* Dalian iron ore ended 1.7% lower at 624.50 yuan a tonne.

* Shanghai steel futures retreated after Tuesday’s gains, with construction steel rebar down 0.5% at 3,498 yuan a tonne.

* Hot-rolled steel coil, used in cars and home appliances, slipped 0.3% to 3,511 yuan a tonne.

($1 = 7.1154 yuan)

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz in Manila and Tom Daly in Beijing; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Jan Harvey

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