Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber gained amid optimism that rising vehicle sales in the U.S. would improve demand for the material used for tires.
The contract for delivery in May on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange added 0.2 percent to settle at 274.5 yen a kilogram ($2,673 a metric ton). Futures closed at 275.3 yen on Dec. 2, the highest level in two months.
U.S. sales of cars and light trucks rose 8.6 percent to 1.24 million units in November from the same period a year ago, according to data yesterday from Ward’s Automotive Group. For the year to Nov. 30, sales rose 8.3 percent to 14.2 million, the group said. The U.S. government will release data this week on new home sales, third-quarter gross domestic product and November non-farm payrolls.
“The U.S. economic recovery will help boost consumer spending, leading to higher sales of cars and stronger demand for rubber,” said Naohiro Niimura, a partner at research company Market Risk Advisory Co.
China, the world’s largest rubber user, may increase government stockpiles this week to support farmers and mop up oversupply after local prices slumped, Orient Futures Co. said today. Futures for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.9 percent to close at 19,615 yuan ($3,220) a ton.
Thai rubber free-on-board was unchanged at 81.95 baht ($2.55) a kilogram today, the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand said on its website. Rain spread to 70 percent of the southern provinces, the main production area, disrupting tapping, it said.
Anti-government protesters in Bangkok said they would suspend street rallies tomorrow to mark the birthday of Thailand’s king, before resuming a push to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
--Editors: Jarrett Banks, Brett Miller