SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures recovered on Wednesday, as lower tariffs and inventories in China pushed prices higher, while a weak yen lent some support.
Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for February delivery finished 1.0 yen, or 0.5%, higher at 213.2 yen ($1.46) per kg. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery rose 110 yuan to finish at 13,305 yuan ($1,824.43) per metric ton. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average closed up 0.33%. The yen weakened 0.29% against the dollar, but hovered near a nine-month low hit on Friday. A weaker yen makes assets denominated by the currency more affordable for overseas buyers.
China cutting taxes and lower rubber inventory levels have improved trader sentiment, a Singapore-based trader said. Beijing said on Sunday it would halve the stamp duty on stock trading and announced steps to support the housing market.
“However, overall actual demand for rubber consumption remains weak,” the trader added. In top rubber exporter Thailand, the Meteorological Department warned of heavy rains that could lead to flash floods in several regions, including the primary rubber-producing South, between Aug. 29 and Sept. 3.
Toyota Motor’s July global sales rose 8% from the same month a year earlier to a record 859,506 vehicles, the Japanese automaker said on Wednesday, a day after a system malfunction shut output at all of its domestic assembly plants.
Asian equities rose on Wednesday for a third straight day to their highest in two weeks, while the dollar wobbled as weak US labour data bolstered bets that the Federal Reserve was likely done with its interest rate hikes.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for September delivery last traded at 136.0 US cents per kg, up 0.9%.