Rubber in Tokyo Pares Weekly Drop as Yen Weakens to 5-Year Low

Dec 20, 2013 3:01 am ET

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber in Tokyo climbed, paring the first weekly drop in four, as the Japanese currency reached the weakest level since 2008 against the dollar, raising the appeal of yen-based futures.

The contract for delivery in May on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange advanced 0.8 percent to end at 282.9 yen a kilogram ($2,709 a metric ton). The gain pared losses for the most-active contract to 0.3 percent this week.

The yen declined to 104.59 per dollar, the lowest level since October 2008 as the Bank of Japan maintained its record easing, after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its first cut to economic stimulus. Of 37 economists surveyed by Bloomberg last month, 19 predicted the BOJ would extend monetary easing during the April-to-June period next year.

“The yen is vulnerable to selling because of a difference in stance over stimulus between the U.S. and Japanese central banks,” said Hideshi Matsunaga, an analyst at broker Evolution Japan Co. in Tokyo. “A weak yen will continue to provide support to futures in Tokyo.”

The contract for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1.1 percent to close at 18,850 yuan ($3,105) a ton. Thai rubber free-on-board gained 0.6 percent to 83.35 baht ($2.55) a kilogram today, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

--With assistance from Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok. Editors: Jarrett Banks, Sungwoo Park