Rubber Advances to 10-Month High as Weakening Yen Boosts Appeal

Rubber futures in Tokyo climbed to the highest level in more than 10 months after the yen touched its weakest level in almost three years, increasing the appeal of the commodity used in tires.

The contract for delivery in July gained 0.8 percent to 334 yen a kilogram ($3,559 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the highest settlement for the most-active contract since March 28. Futures have climbed 10 percent this year.

The yen dropped on speculation Japan’s government will hasten the selection of a new central bank chief who will take further steps to end deflation. The post became vacant after Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said he will step down on March 19, almost three weeks before his term is due to end.

“The resignation of the BOJ governor strengthened speculation the Japanese currency will decline further, spurring buying of yen-denominated futures,” Naohiro Niimura, a partner at research company Market Risk Advisory in Tokyo, said in an e-mail today. The yen touched 94.06 per dollar today, the lowest since May 2010.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker, raised its profit forecast yesterday as the weakening yen boosted the value of Japanese cars sold overseas.

Rubber for delivery in May lost 0.6 percent to close at 26,655 yuan ($4,277) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Thai rubber free-on-board gained 0.3 percent to 99.40 baht ($3.34) a kilogram today, according to the country’s Rubber Research Institute.

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