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TOCOM rubber hits 1-month high as firm oil prices boost risk appetite

TOKYO (April 19): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures jumped to their highest in nearly one month on Thursday, extending gains for a third session, as stronger oil prices boosted risk appetite while a rally in Shanghai futures also lent support.

Oil prices rose on Thursday to their highest in over three years as US crude inventories declined and as top exporter Saudi Arabia pushes for higher prices by continuing to withhold supplies.

“Higher oil prices prompted technical buying in Shanghai and Tokyo rubber futures,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research, Nissan Securities.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for rubber prices in Southeast Asia, have lost more than 10% during the first quarter amid concerns over rising inventories in Tokyo and Shanghai.

“But if oil prices, global stock markets and the dollar stay firm, rubber markets may get a further lift,” Kikukawa said.

The TOCOM rubber contract for September delivery closed up 4.8 yen, or 2.6%, at 187.1 yen (US$1.74) per kg. Earlier in the session, it touched 187.4 yen, its highest since March 22.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery surged 610 yuan to finish at 11,780 yuan (US$1,878) per tonne.

Resource stocks were on a roll in Asia on Thursday as oil prices hit heights not seen since late 2014 and ignited a rally across commodities.

The US currency gained 0.15% to 107.410 yen on Thursday, adding to the previous day’s modest gains.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for May delivery last traded at 140.6 US cents per kg, up 3.2 cents.

China, the world’s biggest rubber consumer, said on Thursday that it will impose temporary anti-dumping measures on halogenated butyl rubber imported from the United States, European Union and Singapore.

(US$1 = 6.2728 Chinese yuan)
(US$1 = 107.2800 yen)

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