* Steel down over 3 pct, iron ore down more than 4 pct
* Nickel hit downside limit of 6 pct
* China’s cooling economy rattles investors
* Output curb at mills, construction sites hit supply and demand
SHANGHAI, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Chinese commodities futures tumbled across the board on Wednesday, with steel and metals posting losses, amid concerns about a slowing economy in the world’s top consumer of a range of commodities.
China’s economy cooled further last month, with industrial output, fixed asset investment and retail sales missing expectations as the government extended a crackdown on debt risks and factory pollution. “Traders are concerned about the slowing Chinese economic growth in the wake of falling property investment and sales, causing a sharp fall among all commodities including steel, copper and rubber,” said Zhao Chaoyue, an analyst with Merchant Futures in Shenzhen.
Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange tumbled more than 4 percent in early trade while the most active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slumped more than 3 percent.
In the property sector, where authorities have tightened rules to flush out speculative financing that has helped drive a two-year boom, sales and new construction starts fell in October. Property sales by floor area fell by 6.0 percent in October from a year earlier, compared with a 1.5 percent decline in September, Reuters calculated from National Bureau of Statistics data out on Tuesday. The decline was the biggest since the first two months of 2015.
Property investment growth also cooled to 5.6 percent in October year-on-year, from 9.2 percent in September.
Shanghai Futures Exchange nickel was limit down at 6 pct, as it corrects from a one-year peak hit on Nov. 6. Dalian coking coal and coke futures dropped more than 2 percent each in morning trade.
Meanwhile, China has officially started output curbs at steel mills, factories, and construction sites in 28 cities to fend off smog and clean its skies in winter.
“The current situation for steel is supply and demand both remain weak as the government has ordered industrial production curbs in 28 cities to battle smog in winter months,” said Zhao.
Iron ore for delivery to China’s Qingdao port jumped 1.6 percent to $62.19 a tonne on Tuesday, according to Metal Bulletin.
(Reporting by Ruby Lian and Josephine Mason; Editing by Sunil Nair)