TOKYO, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures rose to their highest in near three months on Thursday, driven by a surge in Shanghai futures and other commodities such as steel and base metals, but shed some of its earlier gains on profit-taking.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for January delivery finished 2.9 yen higher, or 1.4 percent, at 217.2 yen ($1.98) per kg. Earlier in the session, it touched 220.3 yen, the highest since May 26.
“An overnight jump in Shanghai futures prompted buys in early trade in Tokyo,” said Jiong Gu, analyst, Yutaka Shoji Co.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery rose 180 yuan to finish at 16,435 yuan ($2,463) per tonne, after rising to a high of 16,990 yuan.
“A surge in prices of steel and its raw materials in China, along with base metals, gave a further push to Shanghai future, then the TOCOM,” Gu added.
Chinese steel futures jumped more than 2 percent on Thursday to snap a four-day losing streak amid a firm outlook for demand in the world’s top consumer, fuelling a rally in steelmaking raw materials iron ore and coking coal.
London copper, aluminium and zinc rose to multi-year highs on Thursday, leading a broad-based rally in metals, on expectations that China’s reform of its metals industry will curb supply against a background of robust demand.
“The recent rise in synthetic rubber prices amid expectations for lower supply due to China’s stricter environment rules over the synthetic rubber plants also lifted natural rubber prices,” Gu said.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for September delivery last traded at 153.8 U.S. cents per kg, up 0.3 cent.
($1 = 109.9400 yen)
($1 = 6.6716 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)