TOKYO, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures soared nearly 5 percent to its highest in almost four months on Tuesday as a jump in Shanghai futures prompted a flurry of fresh buying, helping the Tokyo benchmark break through a key ceiling of 160 yen. “A sudden surge in China’s commodity prices including rubber led to panic buying in Tokyo, although there were no fresh fundamental factors to support the gain,” a Tokyo-based dealer said.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for February delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: finished up 7.4 yen, or 4.7 percent, at 165.1 yen ($1.62) per kg, after touching 165.7 yen, its highest since May 31.It marked the third biggest one-day gain this year.
The TOCOM futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, have been stuck in a narrow range between 145 and 165 yen since late May in light trade. The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange for January delivery SNRcv1 jumped 415 yuan to finish at 13,225 yuan ($1,982.76) per tonne, after hitting its highest level since Aug.17 at 13,250 yuan.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for October delivery STFc1 last traded at 142.5 U.S. cents per kg, up 5.1 cent and the highest since May 12. “The upward trend may last for a short while and the TOCOM benchmark could climb as high as 175 yen, but it will likely come under pressure again as oversupply in Asia and weaker demand in China remain unchanged,” the dealer said.
The TOCOM, which was closed for a public holiday on Monday, has expanded trading hours from Tuesday as it starts using a new trading system. The day session began from 8:45 a.m.(2345 GMT), 15 minutes earlier than the previous opening.
There is no change at the end of the day, when the session finishes at 3:15 p.m.
($1 = 6.6700 Chinese yuan) ($1 = 101.7100 yen)
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Sunil Nair)