TOKYO, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures plunged more than 3 percent to a 2-week low on Thursday as investors unwound long positions on worries about slowing demand in the world’s top buyer China after weak factory data and on slumping stock prices in Tokyo. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for February delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: finished 5.7 yen, or 3.3 percent, lower at 165.6 yen ($1.38) per kg, the lowest since Sept.7.
Japanese markets were closed between Monday and Wednesday due to a national holiday. “Weak data raised investor concerns about weakening demand in China,” a Tokyo-based dealer, who declined to be named, said.
Activity in China’s factory sector unexpectedly shrank to a 6-1/2 year low in September, a private survey showed, raising fears of a sharper slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy that could spell more turmoil for financial markets. On the downside, Japan’s Nikkei share average tumbled to a more-than-two-week low on Thursday as Japanese markets reopened after a three-day holiday to face news of weak Chinese and U.S.factory activity, hurting machinery stocks in particular.
“Near-term contracts such as October- and November-delivery were under strong pressure, in particular because of speculation that there were high levels of inventories that were near their 1-year storage expiration.That also weighed on overall sentiment,” the dealer said.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange for January delivery SNRcv1 rose 90 yuan to finish at 11,500 yuan ($1,802.00) per tonne. Singapore’s SICOMexchange was closed due to a national holiday.
($1 = 120.0700 yen) ($1 = 6.3818 Chinese yuan)