Rubber Ends Near Three-Week High as Yen Weakens Before Jobs Data

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber closed near a three-week high as Japan’s currency extended a decline before U.S. payrolls data, raising the appeal of yen-denominated futures.

The contract for March delivery added 0.1 yen to settle at 268.5 yen a kilogram ($2,731 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. The price pared losses to 11 percent this year. The most-active contract closed at 270.8 yen on Oct. 15, the highest settlement since Sept. 26.

The yen fell to 98.37 a dollar, the weakest since Oct. 17. The U.S. Labor Department may say today employers added 180,000 jobs in September, after boosting positions by 169,000 in August, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The unemployment rate probably held at 7.3 percent, matching the lowest in 4 1/2 years.

“Data signaling an economic recovery will be positive for the demand outlook for the commodity,” said Hideshi Matsunaga, an analyst at broker ACE Koeki Co. in Tokyo.

Gains in futures were limited after oil in New York slid to a three-month low. West Texas Intermediate oil traded below $100 a barrel for a second day after U.S. stockpiles climbed to a 15-week high.

Rubber for January delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.7 percent to close at 20,455 yuan ($3,357) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board was unchanged at 79.55 baht ($2.56) 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