Rubber swung betweens gains and losses as a Chinese manufacturing gauge fell for the first time in four months, raising concern demand may drop, while the Japanese currency weakened, boosting contracts based in yen.
The contract for delivery in April on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange lost as much as 0.3 percent to 257.9 yen a kilogram ($2,575 a metric ton) and traded little changed at 258.5 yen at 11:24 a.m. Futures have lost 15 percent this year.
The preliminary 50.4 reading in November for a Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compared with a 50.8 median estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The final number for October was 50.9, and levels above 50 indicate expansion. China is the world’s biggest consumer. Japan’s currency dropped to 100.52 per dollar, the weakest level since Sept. 11.
“The Chinese data weighed on the market,” said Hideshi Matsunaga, an analyst at broker ACE Koeki Co. in Tokyo. “Still, there were no aggressive sellers as a weak yen continued to support futures.”
Rubber for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 0.5 percent to 19,260 yuan ($3,160) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board added 0.3 percent to 78.60 baht ($2.48) a kilogram yesterday, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.
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