TOKYO, April 10 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futurestumbled more than 2 percent to two-month lows on Thursday afterdisappointing trade data in China fuelled concerns about slowingeconomy of the world’s biggest rubber consumer.
The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo CommodityExchange (TOCOM) for September delivery fell 5.6 yen, or2.5 percent, to settle at 215.7 yen ($2.12) per kg.
It dropped as low as 212.4 yen, the lowest since Feb. 7,before recovering some losses toward the end of the session.
“China’s weak trade data triggered a wave of selling and theyen’s gain spurred additional selling,” Hiroyuki Kikukawa,general manager at Nihon Unicom Inc, said.
China’s exports unexpectedly fell for the second straightmonth in March and import growth dropped sharply, intensifyingconcerns about weak manufacturing and slowing growth in theworld’s second-largest economy.
The U.S. dollar was quoted around 101.68 yen in lateAsia trade, down from 101.97 yen late Wednesday.
“Rubber market may stay under downward pressure as we aregetting closer to higher production season and China’s bonddefault fear is still looming,” Kikukawa said.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futuresexchange for September delivery lost 455 yuan to finishat 15,115 yuan ($2,400) per tonne. It fell as low as 14,970yuan.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOMexchange for May delivery last traded at 178.00 U.S.cents per kg, down 4.6 cents. It earlier revisited five-year lowof 175.50 cents per kg, hit once on Feb. 26, following Tokyo andShanghai futures’ drop.
($1 = 101.8500 Japanese Yen) ($1 = 6.2005 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Anand Basu)