Rubber rallied the most in two weeks after data showed China’s manufacturing expanded, boosting prospects for demand from the world’s largest user, and as a weaker Japanese currency raised the appeal of the yen-denominated futures.
Rubber for delivery in January on Tokyo Commodity Exchange gained 2.1 percent to settle at 266 yen a kilogram ($2,710 a metric ton). The rally pared losses for futures this year to 12 percent.
A private gauge of Chinese factory output rose to 50.1 for August from an 11-month low, adding to signs the world’s second-biggest economy is stabilizing. The yen slid for a second day after Federal Reserve minutes stoked speculation stimulus will be cut next month.
“The Chinese data eased concerns rubber demand may weaken,” said Kazuhiko Saito, analyst at broker Fujitomi Co. in Tokyo. “Futures also got a boost from the currency market.”
Fed officials were “comfortable” with Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s plans to start reducing bond buying later this year should the economy improve, and a few said tapering may be needed soon, minutes of their July meeting showed.
The preliminary reading of 50.1 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compares with a final figure of 47.7 in July and the 48.2 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. A number above 50 indicates an expansion.
Rubber for delivery in January added 1.7 percent to close at 19,865 yuan ($3,244) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Thai rubber free-on-board gained 2.2 percent to 82.70 baht ($2.59) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.