TOCOM falls further as supply worries ease

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TOKYO (Feb 3): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended lower for a fourth straight session on Friday after touching their highest since September 2011 earlier this week as supply worries following floods in key production areas eased.

TOCOM was also pressured by the decline in Shanghai futures after Beijing unexpectedly raised short-term interest rates, adding to growing concerns about US President Donald Trump's aggressive policies.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, were on a roller coaster this week, touching their highest level in more than five years on Monday but ended the week at more-than-one-week low after news that Thailand would auction rubber to ease supply concerns.

The news of a TOCOM launching investigation into rubber positions also put pressure on the market, brokers said.

"The worries over supply have erased, contributing to the decline," said a Tokyo-based dealer.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for July delivery finished 9.1 yen lower at 301 yen per kg, the lowest settlement since Jan 25. For the week, it fell 9.1%.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery fell 825 yuan to finish at 20,175 yuan (US$2,937) per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for March delivery last traded at 218 US cents per kg, down 11 US cents.

(US$1 = 6.8702 Chinese yuan)