Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber advanced for a second week as robust car sales in China and the U.S. boosted demand prospects for the commodity used in tires and Japan’s currency weakened against the dollar ahead of U.S. jobs data.
Futures for delivery in May on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange gained 0.5 percent to end at 275.8 yen a kilogram ($2,700 a metric ton). Futures climbed 2.1 percent this week, paring losses this year to 8.8 percent.
U.S. sales of cars and light trucks rose 8.6 percent to 1.24 million units in November from a year earlier, data from Ward’s Automotive Group showed this week. Passenger vehicle sales in China may expand 14 percent in 2014, BNP Paribas SA said today. The yen fell 0.3 percent against the dollar before data that may show today the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent last month, matching the lowest since 2008.
“The weakening yen and buoyant car sales data in China and U.S. are supportive,” said Naohiro Niimura, a partner at research company Market Risk Advisory Co. in Tokyo.
China bought 60,500 tons of rubber for government stockpiles after local prices slumped, according to two executives with direct knowledge of the transactions. The purchase is in addition to an estimated 96,000 tons bought by the government in the past month.
Futures for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.7 percent to close at 19,545 yuan ($3,213) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board was unchanged at 81.95 baht ($2.54) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.
--With assistance from Jack Gao in Shanghai. Editors: Sungwoo Park, Jarrett Banks