TOKYO, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures edged lower on Wednesday with investors hesitant to take major positions as they awaited the minutes from U.S. central bank’s latest meeting and clues on its policy outlook.
Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, traded in a limited range as market watchers awaited clearer signals the U.S. central bank will begin tapering its $85 billion a month in asset purchases as early as September.
The key TOCOM rubber contract for January delivery dipped 0.1 percent to settle at 260.6 yen per kg.
“Everyone is taking a wait-and-see approach ahead of the Fed release, and until their actual words are seen and analysed, it is quite difficult to take a position,” said one Bangkok-based trader.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery drifted down 90 yuan to finish at 19,535 yuan per tonne.
Asian equity markets also saw limited moves with both Japan’s Nikkei benchmark and China’s Shanghai Composite Index each edging up 0.2 percent on the day.
The yen was quoted at 97.47 to the dollar in afternoon Asia trade, edging away from a one-week low of 96.91 yen set on Tuesday.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for September delivery last traded at 240 U.S. cents per kg, or 0.5 percent higher.
(Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)