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Tokyo Rubber Futures Rise as Weaker Yen and Nikkei Uptick Support

Benchmark TOCOM rubber futures rose for a second day on Thursday (Mar 20) as the weaker yen and an uptick in Japan’s equities benchmark lifted buying sentiment for the contract that sets the tone for Southeast Asia tyre rubber prices.

FUNDAMENTALS

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for August delivery was up 1.7 yen at 236.9 yen per kg by 0026 GMT, after finishing 1.6 yen higher on Wednesday (Mar 19).

The U.S. Federal Reserve will probably end its massive bond-buying program this fall, and could start raising interest rates around six months later, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday (Mar 19).

Some Chinese rubber importers have defaulted on shipments as tyre grade prices sank recently to multi-year lows, an industry body said on Wednesday (Mar 19), raising concerns of a further demand slowdown in the world’s top consumer.

German luxury carmaker BMW is looking at raising production capacity at its plant in the United States and releasing 12 new models as it chases record sales and a rise in pretax profit of up to 10 percent this year.

MARKET NEWS

The U.S. dollar was quoted around 102.38 yen early on Thursday (Mar 20), gaining after comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen prompted markets to bring forward interest rate hike expectations.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average edged up 0.2 percent in Thursday (Mar 20) trade, as the weaker yen helped offset influence of Yellen’s comments.

Brent oil futures fell on Wednesday as worries over sanctions affecting Russian oil supplies eased, while U.S. crude oil rose on an inventory draw at the benchmark’s pricing hub and ahead of the front month contract’s expiration.

Reuters

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