Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber closed little changed after prices swung in Tokyo amid speculation that China may step up purchases for its state reserves while a stronger Japanese currency reduced the appeal of yen-based futures.
The contract for delivery in May on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange settled 1 yen lower at 274.4 yen a kilogram ($2,693 a metric ton) after advancing as much as 1.1 percent and falling 0.4 percent. Futures climbed to 275.3 yen on Dec. 2, the highest settlement in two months.
China, the world’s largest consumer of the commodity, may increase government inventories this week to support farmers and mop up oversupply after local prices slumped, according to Orient Futures Co. The yen appreciated to 101.85 per dollar after a report yesterday showed the U.S. added more jobs than analysts predicted last month, raising speculation the Federal Reserve may bring forward cuts to stimulus.
“A rally in rubber futures took a breather as it lost support from the currency market,” said Kazuhiko Saito, an analyst at broker Fujitomi Co. in Tokyo. “There were no aggressive sellers as speculation of Chinese buying remains.”
Officials from the State Reserve Bureau meet in Beijing today with executives from Sinochem International Corp., China Hainan Rubber Industry Group Co. and Yunnan State Farms Group Co., the three biggest domestic suppliers, said Yan Xinbing, an analyst at Orient Futures, citing talks with the companies. The bureau bought about 100,000 tons in the past month from the suppliers, Yang said.
Futures for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 1.1 percent to 19,410 yuan ($3,187) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board was unchanged at 81.95 baht ($2.55) a kilogram yesterday, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand. Thai markets are closed today for a holiday.
--Editors: Jarrett Banks, Alexander Kwiatkowski