Rubber was poised for the first weekly gain in four as Japan’s currency slid to the lowest level in three-and-a-half years against the dollar, boosting the appeal of yen-based contracts.
The contract for delivery in August climbed as much as 1.1 percent to 294.7 yen a kilogram ($3,095 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the highest level since Feb. 28. Futures traded at 294.4 yen at 11:55 a.m. extending this week’s advance to 3.6 percent, the best performance since the week through Feb. 1.
The yen dropped to 95.31 per dollar, the weakest since August 2009. Data showed today Japan had a current account deficit for a third-straight month, damping the currency’s value as a haven. A separate report showed the nation’s economy returned to growth last quarter, raising the outlook of demand for the commodity used in tires.
“Futures drew support from a weakening yen and optimism about economic recovery,” Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at research company JSC Corp. in Tokyo, said by phone today.
Japan’s gross domestic product rose an annualized 0.2 percent in the three months through December, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo today, compared with a preliminary calculation of a 0.4 percent contraction. The current account deficit in January was 364.8 billion yen.
The contract for September delivery in Shanghai fell 0.2 percent to 23,870 yuan ($3,839) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board rose 0.6 percent to 89.75 baht ($3.02) a kilogram yesterday, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.