* Iron ore up as much as 5.2%
* Fundamentals for iron ore not changed - analyst
* Coking coal, coke futures gain (Updates with closing prices)
BEIJING, March 16 (Reuters) - Benchmark iron ore futures in China gained as much as 5.2% on Tuesday, clawing back losses as the market tried to narrow the spread between spot and futures prices, while Tangshan lifting a smog alert also fuelled sentiment.
The most-traded iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May delivery, ended up 3.9% at 1,070 yuan ($164.69) per tonne after hitting 1,084 yuan earlier during the session. As of Monday, the contract had fallen nearly 12% from March 4.
“Traders usually narrow basis between spot and futures prices ahead of delivery,” said Tang Binghua, an analyst with Founder CIFCO Futures in Beijing.
“The fluctuation is normal after drops, but fundamentals for iron ore are not changed,” Tang said, adding that China’s steel output cut plan brings uncertainty to contracts in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, top steelmaking city Tangshan lifted its second-level smog alert on Monday afternoon. Restrictions on steelmakers’ production have not been totally eased yet, but Tang said he expects restocking demand at mills.
Spot prices of iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China plunged by $10 to $164 a tonne on Monday, according to SteelHome consultancy. SH-CCN-IRNOR62
Other steelmaking ingredients also gained.
Coking coal futures on the Dalian bourse increased 2.9% to 1,538 yuan per tonne.
Coke futures rose 1.1% to 2,264 yuan a tonne.
* Steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.5% to 4,701 yuan a tonne at close.
* Hot rolled coil, used in the manufacturing sector, fell 1.6% to 4,931 yuan per tonne.
* Shanghai stainless steel edged 0.3% lower to 13,935 yuan a tonne.
* Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group, the world’s fourth-largest iron ore miner, has set an ambitious plan to become carbon neutral by 2030, bringing forward the target by 10 years.
$1 = 6.4969 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Devika Syamnath