TOKYO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures jumped about 4.5 percent on Monday, hitting a one-week closing high, as a strong economic indicator in top buyer China and firmer Shanghai rubber futures prompted a flurry of buys, dealers said. “Healthy number in China’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) helped bolster market sentiment,” said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities.
“The Tokyo market also tracked Shanghai’s rally, which was backed by continued speculative buys.” Growth in China’s services sector accelerated to a 16-month high in November, a private survey showed, though the increase in new orders dipped slightly and business expectations moderated. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for May delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: finished 10 yen, or 4.4 percent, higher at 239.7 yen ($2.11) per kg, its highest close since Nov.29.
Earlier in the session, it touched its highest since Nov. 29 at 241.5 yen. The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery SNRcv1 surged 740 yuan to close at 18,590 yuan ($2,699.09) per tonne. On the downside, oil prices fell by 1 percent as a higher U.S.rig count unsettled markets amid nagging concern that output cuts, planned as part of concerted action between producer club OPEC and Russia, might not be as big as initially anticipated.
O/R “It’s difficult to predict which direction the rubber market is headed for, but I have a sense that more investors are betting on a further rally although the trend could change depending on the outcome of the OPEC’s oil output or the U.S.monetary policy,” Yoshida said.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for January delivery STFc1 last traded at 171.7 U.S. cents per kg, up 2.6 cents.
($1 = 113.8500 yen)
($1 = 6.8875 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)