TOCOM falls for 4th session, hits 1-mth low on weak Shanghai

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TOKYO (Feb 20): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures extended losses into a fourth straight session on Monday and touched a near 1-month intraday low, as weaker Shanghai futures weighed on market sentiment.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for July delivery finished 1.2 yen, or 0.4%, lower at 295.0 yen (US$2.61) per kg. It hit the lowest since Jan. 24 of 287.1 yen earlier in the session.

"Shanghai market has been under pressure as inventories are rising and investors have been booking profits after the recent rally," said Jiong Gu, an analyst at Yutaka Shoji Co.

"Lower inventories at the TOCOM will limit losses in near-term contracts in Tokyo. But if Shanghai keeps falling, the Tokyo benchmark may also decline to below 280 yen," he added.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery dropped 80 yuan to finish at 20,300 yuan (US$2,951.83) per tonne.

A firm yen against the US dollar also added to selling pressure, dealers said.

The dollar was little changed at 113.090 yen, not far from 112.620, its lowest since Feb. 9 touched on Friday.

A stronger yen makes yen-denominated assets less affordable when purchased in other currencies.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for March delivery last traded at 215.7 US cents per kg, down 4.8 US cents.

(US$1 = 113.0400 yen)
(US$1 = 6.8771 Chinese yuan)