TOCOM ends up 2% on weak yen, firm Shanghai futures

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TOKYO (March 1): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended up 2% on Wednesday as a weaker yen and firm Shanghai futures improved market sentiment, dealers said.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, had been under pressure as supply worries eased after Thailand planned further sales of the commodity from state stockpiles.

Japan's Yokohama Rubber on Tuesday said it would raise tyre prices for the domestic market by 6% to 7% from April 1 to pass on higher raw material costs.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for August delivery gained 5.4 yen to a one-week closing high of 271.8 yen (US$2.40) per kg, after touching a two-month intraday low in the previous session.

The US dollar was quoted around 113.62 yen, compared with around 112.66 yen on Tuesday afternoon, as Federal Reserve policy-setters fanned expectations of a rate hike this month.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange for May delivery rose 225 yuan to close at 18,745 yuan (US$2,726) per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for April delivery last traded at 209.60 US cents per kg, up 2.4 US cents.

(US$1 = 113.4700 yen)
(US$1 = 6.8775 Chinese yuan)