TOKYO: Japan’s rubber futures edged higher on Friday as upbeat factory data in top buyer China boosted risk appetite, while positive sentiment over the US monetary policy and debt ceiling bill also lent support.
The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for November delivery was up 0.4 yen, or 0.2%, at 208.6 yen ($1.5) per kg, as of 0232 GMT. Still, the contract lost 0.4% so far this week and was set for a second weekly decline. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange (SHFE) for September delivery was up 40 yuan, or 0.3%, at 11,850 yuan ($1,714) per tonne. China’s factory activity unexpectedly swung to growth in May from decline, a private sector survey showed on Thursday, driven by improved production and demand, helping struggling firms that have been hit by slumping profit.
The market sentiment also improved after signals of a potential pause in rate hikes by the Federal Reserve as well as the progress on the bill to raise US debt ceiling, likely staving off a calamitous sovereign default.
But a stronger yen limited gains. US dollar was quoted around 138.87 yen, compared with around 139.70 yen on Thursday afternoon. A firmer yen makes yen-denominated assets less affordable when purchased in other currencies. Ivory Coast exported 434,702 tonnes of natural rubber from January to April, down 3.2% from last year, provisional port data showed on Thursday. The Singapore Exchange is closed on Friday for a public holiday.