Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber posted the biggest weekly loss since May as concern that the U.S. political impasse could lead to a recession boosted the Japanese currency against the dollar and cut the appeal of yen-denominated futures.
The contract for March delivery on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange lost 1 percent to 254.3 yen a kilogram ($2,620 a metric ton), the lowest settlement since Aug. 7. Futures slid 5.9 percent this week, the worst performance for a most-active contract since the five days through May 24.
The yen climbed to 96.96 per dollar, nearing the highest level since Aug. 28 reached yesterday. The first partial U.S. government shutdown in 17 years has delayed three economic data releases this week, including the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, making it harder for investors to check the health of the world’s largest economy.
“Risk aversion by investors increased, raising demand for the yen as a haven and spurring sales of futures in Tokyo,” said Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at research company JSC Corp.
The failure of U.S. lawmakers to pass the budget and avert a government shutdown fueled concern they won’t be able to agree on raising the $16.7 trillion debt limit. A U.S. default could have catastrophic consequences that might last decades, the Treasury said in a report yesterday.
Thai rubber free-on-board fell today for an eighth day, losing 0.3 percent to 78 baht ($2.49) a kilogram, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. Markets in China are closed through Oct. 7 for National Day holidays.
--Editors: Jarrett Banks, Ovais Subhani