Rubber declined as Japan’s currency strengthened and data signaled a slowdown in business activity in China and the U.S., the world’s biggest users.
The contract for October delivery lost 1.1 percent to settle at 259.6 yen a kilogram ($2,664 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures fell for a third month in April and have dropped 14 percent this year.
The yen climbed to 97.05 per dollar, nearing a two-week high, after data showed U.S. business activity shrank for the first time in more than three years. China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 50.6, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing. That compared with the 50.7 median forecast of 31 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey and a March reading of 50.9.
“Weak economic data recently has led to the yen’s rebound and cut investor appetite for yen-based futures,” Kazuhiko Saito, an analyst at broker Fujitomi Co. in Tokyo, said today.
Crude rubber stockpiles held at Japanese warehouses rose 2 percent to 15,976 tons on April 20, according to the Rubber Trade Association of Japan.
Thai rubber free-on-board gained for a seventh session yesterday, rising 1.5 percent to 85.80 baht ($2.93) a kilogram, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. Markets in China and Thailand are closed today for public holidays.