TOKYO (Sept 7): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures slid to a one-week low amid light trade on Wednesday, as a surge in the yen against the US dollar after data on the US services sector fell well short of expectations sparked profit taking.
The US Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 51.4 last month, far short of economists’ expectations and the largest one-month drop since November 2008, giving the US Federal Reserve reason to delay increasing interest rates.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for February delivery <0#2JRU:> finished 2.3 yen, or 1.5%, lower at 156.1 yen (US$1.54) per kg.
The TOCOM futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, touched 154.4 yen earlier in the session, their lowest since Sept. 1.
“The yen’s sharp gain prompted selling in early morning trade,” a Tokyo-based dealer said, adding that trading volume remained to be lacklustre.
The dollar fell to its lowest in more than a week against the yen on Wednesday as subdued US data made an interest rate increase this month unlikely and drove investors to cut favourable bets in the greenback.
“But speculations that a major tyre maker may be buying near-term contracts due to quality issues with some materials from northern Thailand supported prices in near-term contracts,” said Jiong Gu, an analyst at Yutaka Shoji Co.
The TOCOM’s September contract closed up 0.4 yen at 166.4 yen.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery rose 130 yuan to finish at 12,645 yuan (US$1,897.79) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for October delivery last traded at 130.2 US cents per kg, up 1.2 cent.
(US$1 = 101.6200 yen)
(US$1 = 6.6630 Chinese yuan renminbi)