TOKYO (Sept 30): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended down 2.1% on Friday, reflecting declines in Shanghai futures ahead of a week-long holiday in China, and weighed down by a stronger yen and a drop in oil prices.
Oil prices fell on Friday as investors took profits, following a seven-percent rise in the last two sessions, amid doubts that OPEC’s proposed output cut would make a substantial dent in the global crude glut.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for March delivery ended 3.5 yen lower at 163.3 yen (US$1.62) per kg. For the week, the benchmark contract fell 3.4%, marking the sharpest decline in more than a month.
Lower rubber prices have prompted Indian tyre makers to raise purchases, boosting the country’s rubber imports. India’s natural rubber imports in August surged 27% to 47,540 tonnes, compared with a year earlier, the state-run Rubber Board said on Friday.
The yen traded firmer against the U.S. dollar on Friday, and was quoted around 100.97 yen, compared with around 101.75 yen on Thursday afternoon.
Investors exercised caution ahead of the long National Day holiday starting on Oct 1, when Chinese markets will remain closed for a week, market participants said.
“Weak Shanghai futures prompted position adjustments, ahead of next week’s holidays in China,” a Tokyo-based broker said.
The most active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery fell 270 yuan to finish at 13,255 yuan (US$1,987.20) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for October delivery last traded at 134.50 U.S. cents per kg, down 0.5 cent.
(US$1 = 6.6702 Chinese yuan)
(US$1 = 100.9100 yen)