Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber futures in Tokyo held near a two-month high as car sales advanced in China, the biggest consumer of the commodity used in tires, and amid optimism that a global economic recovery will boost demand.
The contract for delivery in May on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange ended little changed at 279.7 yen a kilogram ($2,722 a metric ton). The price yesterday touched 282.5 yen, the highest intra-day level for a most-active contract since Sept. 24.
China’s passenger-vehicle sales rose 16 percent in November, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers yesterday, as Japanese automakers extended their recovery in the largest auto market. The U.S. jobless rate dropped to a five-year low of 7 percent last month as employers added more workers than forecast, data showed last week.
“Rubber is supported by expectations that a global economic recovery will boost demand,” said Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst at JSC Corp. in Tokyo. Gains were limited because of a strengthening Japanese currency that reduced the appeal for yen- denominated contracts, he added.
The yen gained as much as 0.3 percent, rebounding from a six-month low versus the greenback after technical indicators signaled its recent losses were excessive.
The contract for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 0.8 percent to close at 19,635 yuan ($3,234) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board was unchanged at 82.45 baht ($2.57) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.
--Editors: Jarrett Banks, Sungwoo Park