TOKYO (Jan 7): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended slightly higher on Monday, after surging to a nearly 7-month high, supported by hopes that US-Sino talks may resolve a trade war and on some fears that Thailand's storm last week may have affected rubber output.
Financial markets, including Japanese equities, were riding a relief rally on Monday on expectations that face-to-face trade negotiations between delegates from Washington and Beijing, starting on Monday, would lead to an easing in tensions between the two biggest economies in the world.
Thailand's first tropical storm in three decades killed one person on Friday as it arrived on the south coast, knocking down trees and blowing off roofs in its path, but was losing speed, officials said.
"The TOCOM's trade was volatile, especially early in the morning, as physical prices in Thailand apparently went higher last week," said Toshitaka Tazawa, an analyst at commodities broker Fujitomi Co.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for June delivery finished 0.3 yen higher at 177.3 yen (US$1.64) per kg.
The TOCOM benchmark, which sets the tone for rubber prices in Southeast Asia, touched the highest since June 13, 2018 of 186.4 yen earlier in the session.
"But the rally did not last long after Shanghai futures came under pressure," Tazawa said.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery dropped 55 yuan to finish at 11,675 yuan (US$1,704) per tonne.
TOCOM's technically specified rubber (TSR) 20 futures contract for July delivery also fell 0.7% to close at 152.0 yen per kg.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for February delivery last traded at 135.3 US cents per kg, down 3.7%.
(US$1 = 6.8507 Chinese yuan)
(US$1 = 108.1000 yen)