Rubber Gains to One-Week High as Yen Drops, U.S. Auto Sales Grow

Rubber climbed to a one-week high as a weaker Japanese currency boosted the appeal of yen-denominated futures and expanding U.S. auto sales raised outlook for demand of the commodity used to make tires.

The contract for delivery in January gained as much as 2.3 percent to 251.5 yen a kilogram ($2,525 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the highest level since July 26. Futures, which traded at 250.4 yen at 10:23 a.m., are little changed this week after rising 1.7 percent last month.

Japan’s currency traded near a one-week low against the dollar after dropping 1.7 percent yesterday on data showing the recovery of the world’s largest economy. U.S. car and light-truck sales climbed 14 percent to 1.32 million in July, according to researcher Autodata Corp.

“Rubber drew support from the currency market and strong car sales in the U.S.,” said Kazuhiko Saito, an analyst at broker Fujitomi Co. in Tokyo.

The industry’s sales pace for the month keeps the U.S. on track for its best year since 16.1 million vehicles were sold in 2007. Economic reports yesterday showed that factory output from the U.S. to China and Europe expanded in July, while American jobless claims fell to a five-year low.

Rubber for January delivery advanced 0.6 percent to 18,210 yuan ($2,970) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Thai rubber free-on-board was unchanged at 76.75 baht ($2.45) a kilogram yesterday, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. Rains spread across the country’s south, disrupting tapping in the main plantation area, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aya Takada in Tokyo at atakada2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jarrett Banks at jbanks15@bloomberg.net

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