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U.S. Steel Stocks Surge as Trump Launches National Security Probe on Imports

Stocks of U.S. steel firms rose as President Donald Trump ordered an investigation to assess whether imports of foreign-made steel are a threat to national security.

According to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the probe was in reaction to Chinese exports of steel representing 26 percent of the U.S. market. During a White House meeting where executives of U.S. steel firms and top U.S. officials were present, Trump signed a directive ordering for a swift investigation under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, a law which will allow Trump to hit trade partners with restrictions on grounds of national security.

The S&P 1500 steel index jumped 5.2 percent, its largest daily percentage gain since the end of November, as the rally became stronger after the inking of the executive order.

Steel Dynamics shares advanced 6.8 percent, while Nucor gained 4.7 percent. Shares of AK Steel jumped 8.6 percent while U.S. Steel climbed 7.4 percent.

The steadier prices and earnings of iron ore are also seen to bolster the sector, according to analysts.
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