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TOCOM rubber tumbles to near 4-month low after overseas markets slide

TOKYO (June 14): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures tumbled on Tuesday, surrendering gains from the previous day and nearing a four-month low hit last week, as weaker Shanghai and Singapore prices dampened sentiment while the strong yen and slumping Tokyo stocks added to the pressure.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for November delivery <0#2JRU:> finished 3.8 yen, or 2.5%, lower at 149.4 yen (US$1.41) per kg. It slid to a low of 149.1 yen, slightly higher than last Friday’s low of 147.5 yen.

“The falling prices in Shanghai and Singapore rubber markets weighed on TOCOM though they held above last week’s low, helped by technical buying,” said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst at Rakuten Securities.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery dropped 190 yuan to finish at 10,355 yuan (US$1,571.42) per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for July delivery last traded at 122 US cents per kg, down 3.1 cents.

TOCOM futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, have lost about 27% since hitting a high of 205.1 yen in late April, amid lingering worries over slack demand in top buyer China.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index skidded 1% after tumbling 3.5% on Monday, while crude oil futures also slid on Tuesday as investors ignored signs of market tightness to focus on concerns over global growth.

The yen was traded at 105.83 per dollar, near Monday’s six-week high of 105.735 to the dollar. A break of that level could lead to a test of its 18-month high of 105.55 set on May 3. A stronger yen makes yen-denominated assets less affordable when purchased in other currencies.

“If TOCOM could stay above 150 yen, the market trend may get firmer. But if it fails to do so, it will likely test the February low of 144.5 yen,” Yoshida said.

(US$1 = 105.7300 yen)
(US$1 = 6.5896 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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