Iron ore futures fell on Thursday as traders sought details of China's pledge to accelerate the rollout of more policies to consolidate its economic recovery, with the country's troubled property sector keeping them guarded.
The most-traded January iron ore on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange was down 0.4% at 867 yuan ($118.77) per metric ton as of 0309 GMT, after advancing in the last two sessions.
On the Singapore Exchange, the steelmaking ingredient's benchmark October reference price fell 1.2% to $120.40 per ton.
China, the world's top steel producer and metals consumer, will speed up introduction of more policies to consolidate its economic recovery, state media CCTV reported on Wednesday, citing a cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Li Qiang.
Iron ore's benchmark price in Singapore has risen more than 5% so far this month and held ground above $120 per ton, buoyed by China's economic stimulus efforts, but the upward momentum seems to have lost steam.
While there were reports about additional policy support for China's property developers at local government levels, analysts said the overall sentiment remains cautious.
"The Chinese property market continues to trend down and remains the largest uncertainty in the economy," industry data and consultancy provider Mysteel said in its latest weekly outlook.
Analysts, however, said prices of iron ore and other steelmaking feedstocks were still supported amid low inventories at steel mills and replenishment needs ahead of China's National Day holiday from Sept. 29 to Oct. 6.
Other steelmaking ingredients also edged lower, with coking coal and coke on the Dalian exchange down 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively.
Steel benchmarks in Shanghai also fell. Rebar shed 0.8%, hot-rolled coil dropped 1%, wire rod lost 1.9%, and stainless steel slumped 1.8%. (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Varun H K)