Rubber Retreats as Strengthening Yen Reduces Investor Demand

Rubber declined after the longest weekly winning streak since November 2007 as the Japanese yen rebounded from its weakest level in 2 1/2 years, reducing investor’s appetite for yen-denominated contracts.

Rubber for delivery in June fell 1.5 percent to settle at 311.6 yen a kilogram ($3,481 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures gained 1.3 percent last week.

“Investors took a cue from the strengthening Japanese yen to take profits after recent rallies in the rubber market,” Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte, said by phone from Singapore.

Asian stocks fell from a 17-month high and the yen rallied from its lowest level since June 2010 as Bank of Japan policy makers begin a two-day meeting. All 23 economists in a Bloomberg News survey expect the BOJ to expand its asset purchases as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe works to end more than a decade of deflation and stimulate the economy.

Abe’s pledges of aggressive fiscal and monetary action triggered a 10 percent decline in Japan’s currency against the dollar from mid-November through last week, as the Topix Index capped its longest weekly winning streak since 1986. A weakening currency aids exporters’ income.

Rubber for delivery in May dropped 0.8 percent to close at 25,765 yuan ($4,142) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. China imported 2.18 million tons of natural rubber last year, a rise of 3.6 percent on year, according to the Beijing-based Customs General Administration.

Thai rubber free-on-board was unchanged at 98.70 baht ($3.32) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. The world’s largest producer has spent 17.4 billion baht in buying 182,446 tons of rubber from farmers above market rates, Thailand government spokesman Tossaporn Serirak said today.

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