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Tokyo rubber futures edge higher on firm oil and softer yen

TOKYO, June 22 (Reuters) – Benchmark TOCOM rubber futures edged higher on Wednesday, supported by higher oil prices and a softer yen, but trade was thin as investors nervously eyed the United Kingdom’s EU membership referendum this week.

FUNDAMENTALS

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for November delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: was up 0.2 yen, or 0.1 percent, at 154.0 yen ($1.47) per kg as of 0042 GMT, after ending 1.3 percent lower the previous day. RUB/T

The Federal Reserve’s ability to raise interest rates this year may hinge on a rebound in hiring that would convince policymakers the U.S.economy is not faltering, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union has seen its lead over the rival “Out” camp cut to just one point, according to an opinion poll published on Tuesday, two days before the country’s historic EU membership referendum.

China’s imports of natural rubber in May rose 38.38 percent from a year earlier, according to China’s General Administration of Customs in official customs data.

MARKET NEWS

Oil prices settled lower on Tuesday on profit taking after a two-day rally, then rose in post-settlement trade after data showing a larger-than-expected draw in U.S.crude stockpiles.

The U.S. dollar clung onto modest gains early on Wednesday after Fed’s Yellen held the line of “gradual increases” in U.S.rates.

The dollar briefly popped back above 105.00 yen JPY= for the first time in nearly a week and last stood at 104.79. FRX/

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average (XC0009692440) was down 0.6 percent in Wednesday trade, despite a gain in Wall Street the previous day after Fed’s Yellen was optimistic about the economy and played down the risk of a recession. .N

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

The following data is expected on Wednesday: (Time in GMT)

  • 1300 U.S. Monthly home price index Apr
  • 1400 Euro zone Consumer confidence Jun
  • 1400 U.S. Existing home sales May

($1 = 104.6700 yen)

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Ed Davies)

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