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Tokyo rubber futures rise 2.7 pct on weak yen, Nikkei

TOKYO, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures settled up 2.7 percent on Monday, helped by a weaker yen and firm gains in the Nikkei, though worries remained about weakening demand from main consumer China, dealers said.

The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) for July delivery rose 6 yen to settle at 228.2 yen ($2.23) per kg.

The contract, which plunged to 210 yen on Feb. 6, its weakest since August 2012, on fears about demand, jumped as much as 3 yen to an intraday high of 228.9 yen.

“The contract rose above a major milestone of 224, and overall the market was bullish,” said Kaname Gokon, general manager of research at broker Okato Shoji, adding that a weaker yen and firm Japanese equities provided support.

Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures, which set the tone for tyre grade prices, are expected to rebound this week after falling to 18-month lows.

TOCOM markets are closed on Tuesday for a national holiday and will resume trading on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar was quoted around 102.40 yen, rising from about 102 yen on Friday.

Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to a one-week high on Monday as a softer yen underpinned sentiment.

The International Rubber Consortium (IRCo), which represents rubber producers of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, has recommended its members should not sell natural rubber at the current low prices.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery rose 455 yuan to finish at 15,880 yuan ($2,600) per tonne, after jumping as high as 3.6 percent earlier.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for March delivery last traded at 189.90 U.S. cents per kg, up 6.8 cents. ($1 = 102.2150 Japanese yen) ($1 = 6.0634 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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