Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber extended losses for a fourth day to the lowest level in seven weeks after data showed U.S. auto sales fell for the first time in 27 months, raising concern that demand may weaken for the commodity used in tires.
The contract for March delivery on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange lost 1.7 percent to 256.5 yen a kilogram ($2,635 a metric ton), the lowest settlement since Aug. 8. The drop expanded this year’s losses to 15 percent for a most-active contract.
U.S. deliveries of new cars and light trucks slid to 1.14 million last month, according to researcher Autodata Corp., in line with the average of 10 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Japanese carmakers from Toyota Motor Corp. to Honda Motor Co. reported sales declines with tight supplies of some models after August’s surge and fewer weekend selling days.
“Concerns grew that sales may weaken further as the U.S. government’s shutdown may curb consumption,” said Kazuhiko Saito, an analyst at broker Fujitomi Co. in Tokyo.
The Japanese currency traded at 97.41, near a one-month high against the dollar, cutting the appeal of yen-denominated contracts, after Congress’ inability to pass a budget caused the partial closure of government services. A shutdown or failure to raise the debt ceiling could have very serious consequences for the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last month.
Thai rubber free-on-board fell for a sixth day today, losing 1 percent to 78.75 baht ($2.51) a kilogram, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. Markets in China are closed through Oct. 7 for National Day holidays.
--Editors: Brett Miller, Jarrett Banks