The company also reported fourth-quarter core profit (EBITDA) of $1.27 billion, slightly ahead of an average forecast of $1.20 billion returned in a company-compiled poll, and little changed from $1.26 billion a year before.

Shares were up 2.4% at 0855 GMT, paring gains after earlier rising as much as 5.1%

The steel industry has been suffering from weaker construction activity in Europe and problems in the real estate sector in China, the world's top consumer and producer of the metal. In the U.S., interest rate hikes have dented demand.

"We are seeing a nice recovery of prices in Europe," Chief Financial Officer Genuino Christino said in a call with journalists.

Swedish peer SSAB last week posted a smaller-than-expected drop in fourth-quarter earnings as European prices of the metal picked up towards the end of the year.

In China, steel consumption is expected to be stable as the government's stimulus will likely offset weakness in the real estate market.

The steelmaker posted a full-year net profit of $4.87 billion, including a $2.4 billion charge related to the disposal of the Kazakhstan operations and a $1.4 billion impairment of Acciaierie d'Italia in Italy.

ArcelorMittal says the impact on the group of disruptions to maritime trade due to attacks by Yemen's Houthi militants on ships in the Red Sea is not significant despite some increases in insurance costs.

"The more positive impact for our business is the fact that there is more reluctance to import materials," Genuino Christino said.

(Reporting by Diana Mandiá and Matteo Allievi; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Mrigank Dhaniwala, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Jan Harvey)

By Diana Mandia and Matteo Allievi