TOKYO, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures rose to a one-week high on Monday, backed by a lower yen against the dollar after strong U.S.jobs data raised the possibility of a Federal Reserve interest rate increase this year.
U.S.employment rose more than expected for the second month in a row in July and wages picked up, bolstering expectations of faster economic growth.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for January delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: finished 2.6 yen, or 1.7 percent, higher at 156.3 yen ($1.53) per kg. The TOCOM futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, earlier hit a high of 156.8 yen, the highest since July 29. “The softer yen helped improve sentiment in the rubber market,” said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities.
Against the yen JPY= , the dollar firmed to 102.08, gaining 0.3 percent in early trade and extending its slow recovery from Tuesday’s three-week low of 100.68. FRX/ A weaker yen makes yen-denominated assets more affordable when purchased in other currencies.
Higher oil prices also lent support in thin trade, a Tokyo-based dealer said. Oil prices climbed, lifted by reports of renewed talks by some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to restrain output.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery SNRcv1 rose 175 yuan to finish at 12,810 yuan ($1,923.37) per tonne. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for September delivery STFc1 last traded at 129.5 U.S.cents per kg, unchanged from the previous session.
($1 = 6.6602 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 102.2300 yen)
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)