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Rubber Drops to Two-Month Low as China to Cool Property Prices

March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber declined to the lowest level in more than two months amid concern that demand may weaken from China, the largest consumer, after the government called for more measures to cool property prices.

The contract for delivery in August fell 0.1 percent to 283.9 yen a kilogram ($3,039 a metric ton), the lowest close for the most-active contract since Dec. 20, extending this year’s losses to 6.2 percent.

China’s stocks plunged, dragging down the CSI 300 Index by the most in two years, after the government ordered more measures to cool property prices and growth in the nation’s services industries slowed. The index, representing the nation’s biggest companies in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, fell 4.6 percent to close at 2,545.72.

“The market was weighed down by concerns about Chinese demand,” Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at research company JSC Corp. in Tokyo, said by phone today.

A government manufacturing PMI gauge released last week missed estimates. Chinese legislators begin an annual conference tomorrow, during which the government usually announces economic targets for the year.

The contract for September delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.1 percent to 23,935 yuan ($3,844) a ton. Rubber inventories rose to the highest level in three years at 103,299 tons, the bourse said on March 1, based on a survey of nine warehouses in Shanghai, Shandong, Yunnan, Hainan and Tianjin.

Thai rubber free-on-board was unchanged at 88.75 baht ($2.98) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

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

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