TOKYO, April 25 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures rose for a second session in a row to touch a one-week high on Thursday, supported by the yen staying within a hair of the 100 level to the dollar and growing optimism on demand from higher Asian share prices.
However, the trade was mainly driven by fund managers rolling over positions to the new benchmark contract, which was listed on Wednesday, as some investors were cautious ahead of the Bank of Japan’s policy decision on Friday.
Players have also started reducing outstanding positions ahead of a series of holidays next week in Japan and in China.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) is closed on April 29 and May 3 for Golden Week holiday and the Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed between April 29 and May 1 for Labour Day holiday.
“The market eked out gains today, but the yen’s fall has somewhat stalled and there is a firm resistance at around 260 yen,” said a manager at a Japanese commodity brokerage.
Unless turnover increases with fresh positions, the TOCOM market would be caught in a range-bound trade, roughly between 250 and 260 yen, the manager said.
The benchmark TOCOM rubber contract for October delivery settled at 259.1 yen ($2.6) per kg, up 0.8 yen from the previous close.
It earlier rose as high as 263.1 yen, up 8.5 percent from a five-month low of 242.6 yen marked on April 18, when weak gross domestic product data from China fuelled demand concerns.
In Shanghai, the most-active rubber contract for September delivery rose 350 yuan to 19,135 yuan ($3,100) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for May delivery last traded at 243 U.S. cents per kg, down 3 cents.
($1 = 6.1781 Chinese yuan) ($1 = 99.3750 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Bijoy Koyitty)