Rubber Pares Fifth Weekly Drop as U.S. Data Ease Demand Concerns

Rubber rebounded from a nine-month low, paring a fifth weekly drop, as better-than-expected U.S. retail sales and jobs data eased concerns demand may weaken for the commodity used in tires.

The contract for delivery in November added 1.7 percent to settle at 235.3 yen a kilogram ($2,479 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, after reaching the lowest settlement since Sept. 7 yesterday. Futures lost 4.4 percent this week, extending this year’s drop to 22 percent.

Data today may show U.S. industrial output expanded in May, adding to evidence that the world’s largest economy is improving. Reports showed yesterday the biggest gain in retail sales in three months and fewer-than-expected jobless claims.

“Rubber was bought back as the U.S. data halted a slump in global stocks and a rally in the yen,” Kazuhiko Saito, an analyst at broker Fujitomi Co. in Tokyo, said by phone today.

The yen traded at 94.88 per dollar after jumping to 93.79 yesterday, the strongest level since April 4, weakening the appeal of the contracts denominated in the Japanese currency. It’s poised for a fourth-straight week of gains versus the dollar, the longest since July 2012.

Thai rubber free-on-board dropped 0.9 percent to 85.75 baht ($2.81) a kilogram today, the lowest level since May 2, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

Rubber for delivery in September on the Shanghai Futures Exchange added 1.2 percent to close at 17,960 yuan ($2,929) a ton.