Rubber Advances to Three-Month High as Yen Drops, Data Improves

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber climbed to the highest level in three months as a weaker Japanese currency boosted the appeal of yen-denominated futures, and after improved data from the U.S. to China strengthened the outlook for demand.

Rubber for delivery in January on Tokyo Commodity Exchange gained 1.3 percent to end at 269.4 yen a kilogram ($2,723 a metric ton), the highest settlement for a most-active since May 24. Futures added 0.8 percent this week, the third weekly advance, paring this year’s loss to 11 percent.

The yen declined to 99.14 per dollar, the lowest level since Aug. 5, amid speculation the Federal Reserve will reduce stimulus next month. American jobless claims fell to a five-year low over the past month and euro zone and Chinese factory output rose more than estimated, adding to signs of global recovery.

“Rubber drew support from the currency market and improvement in China’s economic data,” said Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at research company JSC Corp. in Tokyo.

Crude rubber stockpiles held at Japanese warehouses fell 10.6 percent to 7,571 tons on Aug. 10, according to data from the Rubber Trade Association of Japan.

China’s natural-rubber imports fell 11 percent to 150,000 tons in July on year, according to the Beijing-based Customs General Administration. That compares with 130,000 tons of imports in June, it said on Aug. 21.

Rubber for delivery in January rose 2.2 percent to close at 20,295 yuan ($3,316) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Thai rubber free-on-board added 0.3 percent to 82.95 baht ($2.60) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aya Takada in Tokyo at atakada2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net