TOCOM hits 4-yr high on Shanghai jump, strong global equities

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TOKYO (Jan 26): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures hit the highest in nearly four years on Thursday, helped by a jump in Shanghai futures and as investors stepped up buying on hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump's policies to drive local economy will boost commodity demand.

"Higher U.S. stock prices led the way, bolstering optimism among investors for global economies," said Satoru Yoshida, commodity analyst at Rakuten Securities.

Asian stocks rose to 3-1/2-month highs on Thursday, cheered by the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaching the 20,000-level for the first time.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for new July delivery finished at 312.6 yen (US$2.75) per kg, up 3.6 yen or 1.2% from an opening price of 309.0 yen. It touched the highest since Feb 20, 2013 of 312.6 yen earlier in the session.

"The TOCOM was also buoyed by soaring Shanghai futures ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday," Yoshida added.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery surged 1,240 yuan to finish at 21,475 yuan (US$3,121.37) per tonne.

Chinese markets will be shut for a week for the Lunar New Year, China's biggest holiday, starting on Friday. Markets will reopen on Feb 3.

The dollar was little changed at 113.375 yen, after losing 0.5% overnight.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for February delivery last traded at 219.5 U.S. cents per kg, down 1.4 cent.

(US$1 = 6.8800 Chinese yuan)
(US$1 = 113.7400 yen)