Rubber Set for First Weekly Loss in Three as Yen Holds Gains

Rubber declined, heading for the first weekly loss in three, as Japan’s currency traded near a two-week high against the dollar, weakening the appeal of yen-denominated futures.

The contract for delivery in March dropped 0.7 percent to 261 yen a kilogram ($2,682 a metric ton) at 11:06 a.m. on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures fell 2.5 percent this week.

The yen climbed to 97.19 per dollar, nearing a two-week high of 97.16 reached Oct. 23. The U.S. currency came under pressure as weaker-than-forecast economic data and concern that U.S. growth was hurt by a government shutdown added to bets the Federal Reserve will delay tapering stimulus until next year.

“A lack of support from the currency market sapped investor appetite for rubber futures,” said Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at research company JSC Corp. in Tokyo.

The partial U.S. government shutdown that began Oct. 1 amid a political deadlock in Washington over spending and the debt ceiling probably trimmed 0.25 percentage point from fourth-quarter economic growth and cost 120,000 jobs in October, President Barack Obama’s chief economic adviser said on Oct. 22.

Rubber for January delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.5 percent to 20,040 yuan ($3,295) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board lost 0.5 percent to 79.15 baht ($2.54) a kilogram yesterday, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

Global output will expand 4.5 percent next year from an estimated 11.7 million tons in 2013 as plantings between 2006 and 2008 become ready for tapping, according to Lekshmi Nair, senior economist at the International Rubber Study Group.

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