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TOCOM rubber inches down as weak China data fuels worries

TOKYO, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures inched down on Monday after slack economic data in China fuelled fears the economy of the world’s biggest rubber consumer may be still losing momentum in the fourth quarter despite a raft of stimulus measures. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for April delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: finished 0.6 yen, or 0.4 percent, lower at 159.7 yen ($1.32) per kg. It earlier fell to a low of 158.5 yen, nearing a 6-year low of 157.1 yen hit the previous week. China’s factory activity fell for an eighth straight month in October but at a slower pace as export orders revived, a private survey showed on Monday, pointing to further sluggishness in the world’s second-largest economy.

The Caixin figures followed Sunday’s official survey, which showed activity in China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted in October for a third straight month.

“The rubber market is really bearish,” said Kaname Gokon, strategist at Okato Shoji Co. “It’s hard to predict when and where the market will hit the bottom as the prices have been declining gradually for a long time, instead of plunging in a short term which could shock farmers and push them to cut productions,” he said.

The TOCOM futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, has lost about 36 percent since hitting this year’s high of 247.9 yen in early June. The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery SNRcv1 rose 40 yuan to finish at 10,890 yuan ($1,718.45) per tonne. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for December delivery STFc1 last traded at 119.0 U.S. cents per kg, down 0.5 cent. TOCOM will be closed on Tuesday due to a national holiday in Japan.

($1 = 6.3371 Chinese yuan renminbi)

($1 = 120.5600 yen)

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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