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Rubber Climbs for Second Day on Optimism From U.S. Service Data

Rubber futures gained for a second day as oil and equity markets rallied on improving U.S. service industries data.

The contract for delivery in August advanced as much as 1.7 percent to 292.5 yen a kilogram ($3,134 a metric ton) and closed at 289.1 yen on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. That pared this year’s decline for a most active contract to 4.4 percent.

Asian stocks climbed to their highest level in two years and crude futures rose for a second day in New York. U.S. service industries expanded in February at the fastest pace in a year and above analysts’ forecast, spreading optimism in the world’s largest economy among investors from U.S. to Asia.

“Economic data are driving commodity prices higher,” Chung Yang Ker, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte., said today by phone from Singapore.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index unexpectedly increased to 56 last month from 55.2 in January, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said yesterday. Readings above 50 signal expansion in the industries comprising 90 percent of the economy. The median Bloomberg forecast called for the measure to ease to 55.

China, the biggest rubber user, maintained its economic growth target at 7.5 percent for 2013, unchanged from 2012. Outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to support economic expansion yesterday at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress.

The contract for September delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.3 percent to 24,190 yuan ($3,891) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board rose 0.6 percent to 89.25 baht ($3) a kilogram, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

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