TOKYO, June 22 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures climbed on Wednesday, backed by firmer oil prices and higher Shanghai futures, but trade was light as investors nervously eyed Britain’s EU membership referendum due on Thursday.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for November delivery <0#2JRU:> finished up 1.9 yen, or 1.2 percent, at 155.7 yen ($1.49) per kg.
Behind the rise were stronger oil prices and gains in overseas rubber markets, said a Tokyo-based dealer.
Oil prices rose during Asian trading on Wednesday, with U.S. crude joining Brent above $50 a barrel after data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed a larger-than-expected draw on stocks.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery rose 230 yuan to finish at 11,150 yuan ($1,694.14) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for July delivery last traded at 128.8 U.S. cents per kg, up 1.5 cent.
The TOCOM futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, have been stuck in a narrow trading range over the past month as all eyes have been on the UK’s EU membership vote due Thursday, with polls showing little difference between the “remain” and “leave” camps.
“The TOCOM market will likely stay quiet until we see an outcome of the UK vote as investors are reluctant to take fresh positions now,” said Masayo Kondo, president of Commodity Intelligence Ltd, a Tokyo-based commodity research firm.
($1 = 104.4500 yen)
($1 = 6.5815 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)