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Rubber Pares Monthly Drop as U.S. Housing, Weak Yen Boost Demand

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber climbed to a two-week high, paring a third monthly drop, on speculation that an improving housing market in the U.S. and a weakening Japanese currency will increase demand for the commodity used in tires.

Rubber for delivery in October rose 2.1 percent to end at 262.6 yen a kilogram ($2,685 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the highest settlement for the most-active contract since April 12. The rally pared this month’s decline to 4.2 percent.

Asian stocks surged, sending the regional benchmark index to its highest level since 2008, after U.S. home sales climbed and amid speculation that central banks around the world will keep stimulating growth. The yen fell against a majority of its most-traded counterparts as the rally in equities boosted demand for higher-yielding assets.

“The U.S. economic data were supportive,” said Naohiro Niimura, a partner at research company Market Risk Advisory Co. in Tokyo.

The index of pending home sales increased 1.5 percent after a revised 1 percent decline the prior month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed yesterday in Washington. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has climbed 9.5 percent this year amid optimism Japan will deploy more measures to beat deflation and that policy makers in the U.S. and China remain on standby to support growth.

Gains were also driven by speculation that Singapore dealers and Thai exporters may increase purchases of rubber on the Tokyo exchange, which is cheaper than physical markets in Thailand, said Ryuta Imazeki, an analyst at Okachi & Co.

Thai rubber free-on-board gained for a seventh session today, rising 1.5 percent to 85.80 baht ($2.92) a kilogram, according to Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok at ssuwannakij@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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