Rubber Posts Biggest Weekly Drop Since November as Yen Rebounds

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber futures booked the largest weekly loss since November as Japan’s currency recovered against the dollar, reducing the appeal of yen-denominated contracts.

The contract for delivery in July lost 2.9 percent to settle at 321.4 yen a kilogram ($3,469 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. The most-active contract fell 2.7 percent this week, the worst since the week through Nov. 9.

The yen traded at 92.68 per dollar, rebounding from an almost three-year low of 94.46 reached on Feb. 11. Exchange rates top the agenda for the finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of 20 nations as they begin two days of talks today. Policy makers from Canada to Germany have questioned how central the currency is to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempt to end deflation.

“Speculation grew that the G-20 meeting may express concerns about the weak yen, spurring sales of futures in Tokyo,” Hideshi Matsunaga, an analyst at broker ACE Koeki Co., said by phone today.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange was closed this week for Lunar New Year. Thai rubber free-on-board dropped 0.3 percent to 97.45 baht ($3.26) a kilogram today, according to the country’s Rubber Research Institute.

Thailand has spent 22 billion baht buying 198,000 tons from farmers above market rates to boost local prices, Yuttapong Charasathien, deputy farm minister, said yesterday. The National Rubber Policy Committee approved spending a further 5 billion baht and has no immediate plan to sell stockpiles, he added.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net