Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures edged lower on Wednesday, as concerns over trade wars deepened after US President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China might have to wait until after the 2020 presidential election.
TOCOM’s rubber contract for May delivery finished 0.3 yen lower at 188.7 yen ($1.74) per kg.
“TOCOM came under pressure as Nikkei slid due to growing worries over trade dispute, but the benchmark was holding relatively well due to shortage of warehouse space for rubber in Japan,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery rose 190 yuan to finish at 12,860 yuan ($1,827) per tonne. China’s new technically specified rubber (TSR) 20 futures contract was last up 150 yuan at 10,805 yuan per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for January delivery last traded at 142.7 US cents per kg, up 0.6%.
Trump said on Tuesday a trade deal with China might have to wait until after the election in November 2020, denting hopes that the two largest economies would soon reach an initial deal to ease their damaging trade war.
The US House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would require the Trump administration to toughen its response to China’s crackdown on its Muslim minority, drawing swift condemnation from Beijing.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average tumbled on Wednesday as comments from Trump and a US House bill targeting camps for Muslims in Xinjiang reignited fears a trade deal between Washington and Beijing may not come through.
Oil gained on Wednesday ahead of meetings this week where OPEC and its allies are expected to extend production curbs to support the market, while industry data showing that US crude stockpiles fell more than expected helped to lift prices.