China’s crude steel output grew by a slower rate in September, up by 5.3% compared to 8.7% in August, according to the World Steel Association. Sequentially, steel output declined by 3.7% and could fall further in October, as the country imposes curbs on steel production to reduce pollution during winter. Global steel output ex-China rose by 5.8%, primarily due to higher growth seen in the Americas. That may also explain why, despite slower output growth in China, capacity utilization of the steel industry rose to 73.5% in September, up from 72.9% in August.

Global bond funds find a new target in India

With overseas investor limits for India’s high-yielding sovereign debt almost used up, bond funds are starting to buy up state notes. Problem is finding decent data on the local economies. Aberdeen Standard Investments started buying the securities about three months ago and they now account for about a fifth of its $312 million Indian bond fund, said Lin Jing Leong, a fixed-income investment manager in Singapore. Finding timely figures on the states, even ones like Maharashtra, is challenging, she said. The highest yields among major Asian emerging markets have made Indian government debt a favourite with overseas investors, who have pumped about $20 billion into rupee securities this year. State bonds, which offer an extra 60-70 basis points of yield over the sovereigns, trade at very similar levels despite differences between the local economies. Bloomberg

IEA sees South-East Asia oil demand growing

South-East Asian demand for oil will keep growing until at least 2040 as emerging nations there rely on the fossil fuel to transport their rapidly growing populations, ship goods and make plastics, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday. Oil usage in the region will expand to around 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2040 from 4.7 million bpd now, with the number of road vehicles rising by two-thirds to around 62 million, the agency said in a report. It did not make any forecasts beyond 2040. A global push to replace combustion engines in vehicles with electric-powered ones to fight climate change has raised concerns in the oil industry that demand for the commodity could peak in the next 10-20 years. Reuters

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