Steel giant ArcelorMittal in lower quarterly loss

BRUSSELS (AP) — The world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal SA, is reporting a lower net loss for the first quarter and remains upbeat for the full year amid increasing demand from the United States and Europe.

The company on Friday reported a net loss of $205 million for the January through March period, down from $345 million a year earlier. Sales remained practically flat at $19.8 billion.

The Luxembourg-based firm says it anticipates lower steel demand from Russia, Ukraine and emerging markets such as China but overall steel shipments should still increase by 3 percent this year.

CEO Lakshmi Mittal says “the prospects for growth of our core markets in Europe and the U.S. are encouraging and overall we remain cautiously optimistic … for the rest of 2014.”

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