(Sept 26): Benchmark   futures edged lower on Tuesday, coming under pressure from a stronger yen against the dollar, brokers said.

The yen stood tall on Tuesday on the back of renewed tensions over the Korean peninsula amid an escalating war of words between North  and Washington.

A stronger yen makes yen-denominated assets less affordable when purchased in other currencies.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures for new March delivery made a debut at 216.2 yen, and hit their highest in nearly a week at 217 yen.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for new March delivery finished 0.2 yen lower than its initial price to settle at 216 yen (US$1.93) per kg.

The most-active rubber contract on the  for January delivery rose 40 yuan to finish at 14,625 yuan (US$2,209) per tonne.

’s natural rubber imports rose 6% to 197,498 tonnes last month from a year earlier, official customs data showed on Tuesday.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s  exchange for October delivery last traded at 152.70 US cents per kg, down 0.4 cent.

(US$1 = 6.6211 Chinese yuan)
(US$1 = 111.6600 yen)

Source: globalrubbermarket (26/09/2017)

Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Corporation and Bridgestone Americas Inc. announced the American Red Cross will receive $1 million to assist with relief efforts following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The funding is intended to support recovery efforts across Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, key states in regions where Bridgestone has thousands of employees, customers and business partners. “We have been humbled to hear of the tragic deaths associated with these hurricanes and send condolences to those who lost loved ones,” said Chris Karbowiak, chief administrative officer for Bridgestone Americas. “We are proud to employ some of our strengths to support the affected communities and help rebuild lives and livelihoods. And more than anything, we are proud that our teammates have given so generously to support their community needs and their affected colleagues.” In addition to the American Red Cross donation, Bridgestone Americas is redirecting a portion of its annual Nashville-area United Way campaign allocation United Way relief efforts in Texas. Moreover, the Bridgestone Americas internal employee assistance funds, built by annual employee giving, have allocated more than $400,000 to support teammates procure temporary housing and vital necessities such as food, bottled water and building supplies in times of need. To date, hundreds of Bridgestone employees have experienced losses or damages of their homes. More than 200 teammates have been able to receive support from Bridgestone Americas employee assistance funds. The Bridgestone footprint in the affected areas of Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida includes approximately 6,000 employees employed at more than 500 retail stores, many manufacturing facilities and several distribution centers. The Bridgestone Group conducts business in over 150 countries throughout the world. Bridgestone believes in the importance of building relationships of trust with local communities, as well as contributing to the development of and providing support for people's lifestyles and education in local communities in the countries where it does business. Source: rubber world (26/09/2017)

Geneva, Switzerland - The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has issued new international standards for the determination of biomass-based (biobased) content of rubber and rubber products based on a proposal filed by Japan. ISO 19984-2:2017 specifies measuring methods for the determination of biobased carbon contents in rubber and rubber products, including polyurethanes. The methods focus on carbon atoms in rubber or rubber products, and determine whether the carbon-containing component is biobased or not judging from the concentration of 14C, radiocarbon isotope. ISO 19984-2:2017 applies to rubber and rubber products such as raw materials, materials and final products. Source: rubber world (26/09/2017)

Tokyo, Japan - Automotive rubber parts manufacturer Nishikawa Rubber Co. Ltd. announced it had reached an agreement in principle for a settlement with plaintiffs in a class-action civil lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, involves the company’s sales of automotive sealing components. Nishikawa Rubber has agreed to pay a settlement of approximately $49.29 million, which it plans to report as an extraordinary loss in the second quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2018. A year ago, Nishikawa agreed to plead guilty and pay a $130 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of and rig the bids for automotive body sealing products installed in cars sold to U.S. consumers. Source: rubber world (26/09/2017) - Gold prices held gains in Asia on Tuesday as investors stayed cautious about tensions on the Korean peninsula. Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.27% to $1,315.00. Overnight, gold prices rose sharply on Monday as escalating geopolitical tensions on the Korean Peninsula fuelled safe-haven demand after North Korean Foreign minister Ri Yong Ho warned that Pyongyang has the right to “shoot down U.S. bombers”. “The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country." North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong said in reference to President Donald Trump’s tweet that “North Korea won’t be around much longer”. "Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country," Ri said. The strong start to the week for gold comes after the precious metal slipped to a second-straight weekly loss last week as traders unwound some of their bullish bets on the gold. Net bullish bets on gold fell to 236,100, according to a report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday. Demand for the precious metal, however, could come under pressure during the week as a flurry of Federal Reserve speakers are slated to deliver speeches including the central bank’s chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday. Following the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting last week, the Federal Reserve signalled that a year-end rate hike remained appropriate. In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds. Source: (25/09/2017) - The People's Bank of China set the yuan mid-point at 6.6076 against the dollar on Tuesday, compared to the previous close of 6.5945, a one-month low. The China Foreign Exchange Trade System sets the weighted average of prices given by market makers. The highest and lowest offers are excluded from the calculation. The central bank allows the dollar/yuan rate to move no more than 2% above or below the central parity rate. Market watchers see a yuan level of 7 against the dollar, USD/CNY, as a key touchstone for sentiment in the near term. Source: (25/09/2017) - The dollar dipped against the yen on Tuesday as central bank minutes from Japan showed no surprises, but investors remained nervous about tensions on the Korean peninsula with a recent spate of threats traded with U.S. President Donald Trump. USD/JPY changed hands at 111.62, down 0.11%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.7948, up 0.14%. EUR/USD traded up 0.10% to 1.1860. The Bank of Japan also released its monetary policy meeting minutes on Tuesday that showed policymakers aim to stick with their current policy framework and that there was reason to be optimistic about consumer prices because measures of inflation expectations had stopped falling, minutes of their July 19-20 meeting showed on Tuesday. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.08% to 92.37. A slew of regional figures withe trade balance for New Zealand in August at NZ$3.20 billion on year, wider compared to NZ$2.910 billion expected. NZD/USD traded at 0.7246, down 0.36%. Later Singapore reports industrial production for August with a 14.2% gain expected on year and a 0.4% decline on month. Overnight, the dollar remained broadly higher against other major currencies on Monday, after comments by New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley sparked fresh hopes of a U.S. rate hike before the end of the year. The greenback was boosted after Dudley said the Fed is on track to gradually raise interest rates given factors depressing inflation are "fading" and the U.S. economy's fundamentals are sound. “I expect inflation will rise and stabilize around the (Fed's) 2% objective over the medium term," he said before adding that "in response, the Federal Reserve will likely continue to remove monetary policy accommodation gradually." EUR/USD declined after Germany's federal election on Sunday showed growing support for a far-right party. Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in office on Sunday but will have to build a coalition to form a government as Conservatives lost support in the face of a surge by the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD). Earlier Monday, data showed that German business confidence edged lower in September. However, the reading remained close to the highest level on record, suggesting momentum in the euro zone\'s biggest economy remains strong. GBP/USD held steady, recovering from moderate losses posted on Friday after UK Prime Minister Theresa May gave few new indications on how Brexit will proceed. May proposed a transition period of around two years after the UK leaves the European Union, during which time access to the single market will continue on current terms. Following May's speech, ratings agency Moody\'s downgraded Britain\'s credit rating to Aa2, saying government plans to reduce debt had been knocked off course and that Brexit would weigh on the economy. Also Monday, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a snap general election that will decide whether the country sustains its massive economic stimulus. The vote is set for October 22. The Australian dollar was little changed, with AUD/USD at 0.7950, while NZD/USD retreated after no single party won a majority New Zealand\'s elections over the weekend. The ruling National Party won the largest number votes, but neither of the major parties won enough seats to gain a majority in parliament, forcing a round of coalition talks that could last days or weeks. Source: (25/09/2017)

TOKYO (Reuters) - The yen stood tall on Tuesday after tensions on the Korean peninsula flared-up anew amid an escalating war of words between North Korea and the United States, while the euro struggled near a four-week low versus the dollar. The dollar was 0.15 percent lower at 111.550 yen after coming off a high of 112.530 the previous day. The euro was steady at 132.340 yen (EURJPY=) after dropping more than 1 percent overnight. The Japanese currency made sharp gains after North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said on Monday that President Donald Trump had declared war on the country and that Pyongyang reserved the right to take countermeasures, including shooting down U.S. bombers even if they are not in its air space. Japan is the world's largest creditor nation and traders tend to assume Japanese investors would repatriate funds at times of crisis, thus pushing up the yen. Many wonder, however, if Japanese assets would really remain in favour if an actual war broke out in Asia. The Swiss franc, also sought in times of geopolitical tensions, stood at 0.9662 franc per dollar after gaining about 0.3 percent overnight. "The dollar tends to fall on flare ups in North Korean-related matters, but whether the Federal Reserve can hike interest rates in December as they projected still remains the ultimate decider," said Shin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays (LON:BARC) in Tokyo. Immediate focus was on what views could be expressed by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who is due to speak in Cleveland at 1645 GMT on "inflation, uncertainty, and monetary policy." The euro was 0.1 percent higher at $1.1857 but in close reach of $1.1832, its lowest level since Aug. 31 plumbed the previous day when it sank nearly 1 percent. The common currency took a knock after German Chancellor Angela Merkel won her country's elections over the weekend but saw a chunk of support shift to the far right. The euro faced additional pressure after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi singled out currency volatility as a source of uncertainty that required monitoring and argued that "ample" ECB accommodation was still needed, because a premature and hasty move could unravel its work. The euro had risen to a 2-1/2-year high of $1.2092 soon after the ECB's Sept. 7 policy meeting. Euro bulls were buoyed by the central bank's signal of an eventual end to its large bond-buying scheme, while the dollar's weakness has also helped. At the same time the 10-year German bund yield hit a two-month low as the debt markets interpreted the ECB's message differently, seeing the central bank taking a cautious and patient approach to tapering its stimulus. But the divergence between the euro and German yields that occurred has narrowed since. "It was hard to see the euro and yields continuing to move in different directions, which was only possible as some speculators appeared to have gone to great lengths to push the euro higher," said Masashi Murata, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo. "But these euro long positions are beginning to become untenable as the dollar is stronger and U.S. yields are higher after the Fed's policy meeting this month." The New Zealand dollar extended the previous day's slide and was last down 0.2 percent at $0.7249 . The kiwi sank 1 percent overnight after New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English's National Party won the largest number of votes in Saturday's election but not enough seats to rule outright, leaving investors likely facing weeks of political horse-trading before a government is formed. [AUD/] The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was a shade lower at 92.573 (DXY) after rising 0.5 percent the previous day to a three-week high of 92.724. Source: - The New Zealand dollar moved lower against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, while the Australian dollar held steady after the release of downbeat New Zealand business confidence data and amid fresh geopolitical concerns. NZD/USD dropped 0.49% to trade at 0.7239, the lowest since September 15. Earlier Tuesday, data showed that New Zealand's ANZ business confidence index fell to zero this month from 18.3 in August. The data came after no single party won a majority New Zealand's elections over the weekend. The ruling National Party won the largest number votes, but neither of the major parties won enough seats to gain a majority in parliament, forcing a round of coalition talks that could last days or weeks. Separately, investors remained cautious after North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said on Monday that President Donald Trump had declared war on the country and that Pyongyang reserved the right to shoot down U.S. bombers, even if they are not in its air space. AUD/USD was little changed at 0.7935. The greenback had strengthened after New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley on Monday said the Fed is on track to gradually raise interest rates given factors depressing inflation are "fading" and the U.S. economy's fundamentals are sound. “I expect inflation will rise and stabilize around the (Fed's) 2% objective over the medium term," he said before adding that "in response, the Federal Reserve will likely continue to remove monetary policy accommodation gradually." However, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said the U.S. central bank should wait until there are clear signs that income and prices are rising before raising interest rates again, warning that moving too fast would be a policy “misstep.” The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, wassteady at 92.43 by 02:05 a.m. ET (06:05 GMT), just off the previous session's one-week high of 92.52. Source: (25/09/2017) - Crude oil prices gained in Asia on Tuesday ahead of U.S. industry estimates on inventories as a stream of bullish comments support views on a global rebalance of supply and demand. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery inched up 0.02% to $52.23 a barrel, while on London\'s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent jumped 0.51% to $58.73 a barrel. Ahead, the American Petroleum Institute (API) will release its estimates of U.S. crude and refined product inventories followed by official data on Wednesday from the U.S. energy Information Administration (EIA). The API and EIA figures often diverge. Analysts expect a 2.296 million barrels build in U.S. crude supplies, and a 2.474 million barrels drop in distillates and a 962,000 barrels decline in gasoline stocks. Overnight, crude oil prices settled higher on Monday amid growing expectations that producers will extend output cuts sooner rather than later as traders cheered signs that the market is starting to rebalance. Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and other major producers met in Vienna on Friday, and pledged to revisit the idea of extending the output-cut agreement beyond the March 2018 deadline in the coming months. \"I believe that January is the earliest date when we can actually, credibly speak about the state of the market,\" Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. Other ministers, however, expressed an eagerness to reach a decision this year, fuelling expectations that an extension to the global accord to curb production beyond the March 2018 will be agreed sooner rather later. “It’s [the rally in oil prices] all driven by the idea that the production cut is starting to work and the rebalance is underway,” said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy in New York. In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018. Some analysts, however, were quick to downplay the prospect of a prolonged rally, highlighting that rising oil prices may encourage oil exporters to pump above agreed-upon levels, lowering the rate of compliance with the global accord to curb output. \"Even at these prices levels, they\'re still bleeding cash. So they want more money and I think the incentive to stay together starts to decrease,\" said Francisco Blanch, head of global commodities and derivatives research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC). Source: (25/09/2017)