TOCOM hits near 2-week high on Shanghai gains

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TOKYO (Feb 13): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures hit their highest in nearly two weeks on Monday, as sharp gains in Shanghai futures and a weaker yen buoyed market sentiment.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, jumped more than 5% to 327.8 yen (US$2.88) at one point, the highest since Feb 1.

Brokers said TOCOM has been tracking Shanghai closely recently, which got support from much stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data.

The dollar rose to a two-week high versus the yen, with the market breathing a sigh of relief as the closely watched two-day U.S.-Japan summit held over the weekend was seen to have ended smoothly.

China's natural and synthetic rubber imports last month rose 10.9% from a year earlier to 510,000 tonnes, trade data showed on Friday.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for July delivery finished 14.3 yen or 4.6%, higher at 326 yen per kg.

The most active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery rose 1,150 yuan to finish at 22,005 yuan (US$3,197) per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for March delivery last traded at 229.40 U.S. cents per kg, up 5.6 cents. 

(US$1 = 113.6600 yen)
(US$1 = 6.8830 Chinese yuan)