TOKYO, (Reuters): Key Tokyo rubber futures fell nearly 2 percent on Monday, as sentiment turned bearish on a drop in oil prices, concerns over the global economy and worries about Europe’s deepening debt crisis.
The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange for February delivery settled down 5.6 yen or 1.5 percent at 363 yen per kg on Monday, after touching a low of 362.1 yen earlier in the session.
The most active Shanghai rubber contract for January closed at 34,095 yuan ($5,340) per tonne on Friday. Volume stood at 668,824 lots. Chinese financial markets are closed on Monday for a holiday, and reopen on Tuesday. Tokyo rubber futures will be stuck in a range this week on concerns that a global economic slowdown could curb demand for tyre grades, while Thai sugar premiums could rise if New York futures resume their downtrend. Traders said Tokyo rubber futures would also take cues from Shanghai rubber futures, which could remain supported by the prospect of steady demand. China’s key commodity imports, including crude oil, copper and iron ore, all climbed in August from the previous month, adding to evidence that demand in the world’s second-largest economy was still going strong despite the economic turmoil in the West.
Big Japanese manufacturers turned optimistic about business conditions in the three months to September compared with the previous quarter, a survey showed on Monday, as a rapid recovery in supply chains and output following the March 11 natural disaster lifted sentiment.