TOKYO (Aug 29): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures closed up on Monday as the yen hit a more than 2-week low against the dollar, falling in line with other Asian currencies after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s upbeat comments on the U.S. economy lifted the dollar.
The Federal Reserve is getting closer to raising interest rates again, the head of the U.S. central bank and other policymakers said on Friday, in comments that left the door open for a hike as early as next month.
The U.S. currency was quoted around 102.34 yen, up sharply from around 100.44 yen on Friday afternoon.
The Indonesian rupiah touched its lowest level in about two months at 13,280 against the dollar. The Malaysian ringgit hit a three-week low of 4.0485, while the Singapore dollar eased to a near five-week low of 1.3627.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for February delivery finished 3.9 yen higher at 154.5 yen (US$1.51) per kg. The benchmark contract, which hit a near one-week high earlier in the day, has recovered after touching a 1-1/2 month low of 148.6 yen on Thursday.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, have been stuck within a tight trading range between 145 and 165 yen since late May amid lingering worries over oversupply.
“The only factor for TOCOM was a weaker yen,” said a Tokyo-based source at a broker. “Shanghai futures have been little changed since the weekend.”
The most active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery rose 50 yuan to finish at 12,355 yuan (US$1,851) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for September delivery last traded at 125.4 U.S. cents per kg, down 0.9 cent.
($1 = 102.3400 yen)
($1 = 6.6756 Chinese yuan)