Rubber in Tokyo rebounded from a five-month low as the yen weakened against the dollar, boosting the appeal of futures denominated in the Japanese currency.
The contract for delivery in June on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange gained 1.1 percent to settle at 255.6 yen a kilogram ($2,448 a metric ton). Futures reached the lowest settlement since Aug. 7 yesterday.
The yen fell to 104.47 per dollar, retreating from a three-week high of 102.86 reached Jan. 13, after a report yesterday showed U.S. retail sales rose 0.2 percent in December, beating the 0.1 percent gain predicted by economists.
“The data added to confidence that the U.S. economy is recovering, weakening the yen and boosting futures in Tokyo,” said Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at research company JSC Corp.
Rubber was also supported by speculation that supplies will be limited as the low-production season is due to start in major producing countries in February, Korakod Kittipol, a marketing manager at Thai Hua Rubber Pcl, said from Bangkok.
Futures for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 0.5 percent to close at 16,675 yuan ($2,758) a ton. Inventories monitored by the bourse rose to 190,158 tons on Jan. 9, the highest level since 2004, data from the exchange shows. China is the world’s largest consumer of the commodity used in tires.
Rubber free-on-board added 0.3 percent to 77.50 baht ($2.36) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.