TOKYO (March 22): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures rose on Tuesday, remaining within reach of a two-week high set last week, helped by higher Tokyo stock market and the yen’s fall before deadly blasts in Brussels prompted a flight towards safe-heaven assets such as yen.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for August delivery finished 1.5 yen higher at 180.4 yen (US$1.62) per kg, near Friday’s high of 181.5 yen, its best level since March 7.
Japan’s Nikkei share average soared to a one-week high on Tuesday, as the dollar rose against the yen after two U.S. Federal Reserve officials supported the case for an interest rate hike sooner rather than later.
Against the yen, the U.S. dollar popped back above 112.10 yen, recovering from a 16-1/2 month trough of 110.67 reached last week.
But the yen rose to a session high of 111.635 yen per dollar in late Asia trade, after news that two explosions rocked Brussels airport spurred inflows into traditional safe-havencurrencies and assets.
“Rubber prices also got a boost from investors hoping that a jump in the Shanghai stockmarket on Monday will help improve market sentiment,” a Tokyo-based dealer said.
“But the TOCOM gains were capped as the Shanghai stock market has quickly run out of steam,” he said, adding that the yen’s climb after the Brussels blasts will likely weigh on prices on Wednesday.
China stocks fell on Tuesday, surrendering gains from the previous day.
The most active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery fell 70 yuan to finish at 11,775 yuan (US$1,814.05) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for April delivery last traded at 133.0 U.S. cents per kg, up 0.5 cent.
(US$1 = 6.4910 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(US$1 = 111.7000 yen)