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TOCOM Rubber Hit 3-Week High on Higher Equities and Softer Yen

Benchmark TOCOM rubber futures rose to a 3-week high in early trade on Wednesday (June 18), after ending above the psychologically important 200 yen level a day earlier, helped by gains in Japanese stock prices and softer yen.

FUNDAMENTALS

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for November delivery was up 2.8 yen, or 1.44 percent, at 203.9 yen per kg by 0037 GMT, the highest intraday level since May 29. It finished 1.7 yen higher on Tuesday (June 17).

The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to chop another $10 billion from its monthly bond purchases at a meeting on Tuesday (June 17) and Wednesday (June 18) but make few, if any, other concrete policy moves.

U.S. consumer prices recorded their largest increase in more than a year in May as costs for a range of goods and services rose, likely easing the Federal Reserve’s concerns that inflation was running too low.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki broadcast a joint appeal for national unity on Tuesday (June 17) with bitter Sunni critics of his Shi’ite-led government – a move that may help him win United States help against rampant Islamists threatening Baghdad.

Japan’s exports fell 2.7 percent in May from a year earlier, down for the first time in 15 months, government data showed on Wednesday (June 18), reflecting tepid external demand as the effect of a weak yen runs its course.

MARKET NEWS

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average climbed 0.4 percent in Wednesday (June 18) trade, after Wall Street stocks rose modestly, as investors shrugged off the turmoil in Iraq and kept an eye on the Fed as it began its two-day policy meeting.

Brent oil held steady above $113 per barrel and U.S. crude weakened slightly on Tuesday (June 17) as fears over oil supply disruptions from Iraq offset the possibility of increased supply due to a thawing of relations between Iran and the West.

The U.S. dollar held onto modest gains early on Wednesday (June 18), having risen broadly after U.S. consumer prices recorded their largest increase in more than a year in May. Against the yen, the greenback reached a one-week high of 102.25

–┬áReuters

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