Rubber Gains to Nine-Month High on Global Recovery, Weaker Yen

Rubber rallied to a nine-month high on optimism that economies in the U.S. and China are set to extend their rebound, and as a weaker Japanese currency raised the appeal of yen-based contracts.

The contract for delivery in July surged 2.5 percent to end at 323.5 yen a kilogram ($3,514 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the highest settlement for most-active prices since April 9. Futures rose 3.8 percent this week, the eighth advance in nine weeks.

Data today may show U.S. employers added 165,000 workers in January after a 155,000 December gain, according to the median of 67 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey, while figures from China showed manufacturing continued to expand in January. The yen declined to 92.3 per dollar, the lowest level since June 2010.

“The dollar/yen is on an upward trend, on an expectation that the U.S. economy will improve,” said Kazunori Kokubo, managing director Yutaka Shoji Singapore Pte. “This is supportive to the rubber market.”

The HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for China climbed to 52.3 last month from 51.5 in December, according to Markit Economics and HSBC Holdings Plc. A separate gauge from the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing was 50.4 in January from 50.6 in December. Figures above 50 indicate expansion.

Rubber for May delivery added 0.7 percent to 26,465 yuan ($4,251) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Thai rubber free-on-board gained 0.3 percent to 96.90 baht ($3.25) a kilogram today, according to the country’s rubber research institute.

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