Tokyo futures ease on investor risk aversion

KEY Tokyo rubber futures were mostly lower, as investors remained cautious about taking risks and also before a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke later in the day for clues on the U.S. economy and monetary policy.

Fundamentals

The August TOCOM rubber futures contract expired at 350.2 yen per kg on Thursday (Aug 25), down 7 percent from the July contract’s 375.1 yen expiry price. Deliveries against the August rubber futures contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange rose 152 percent from July to 434 lots or 2,170 tonnes, the exchange said on Thursday (Aug 25).

he benchmark January contract settled at 362.2 yen on Thursday (Aug 25), up 0.8 yen on the day. The February 2012 contract, which debuted on Friday (Aug 26) and became the benchmark, opened at 362.2 yen per kg.

The most active January rubber contract on the Shanghai futures market closed at 33,180 yuan ($5,193) per tonne on Thursday (Aug 26). Volume stood at 667,608 lots. The dollar was broadly higher in early Asia on Friday (Aug 26) as investors were nervous after a rise on U.S. jobless claims and more volatility in euro zone debt markets.

Oil eased in early Asia on Friday (Aug 26) after gaining the day before on concerns about Hurricane Irene’s impact on U.S. East Coast fuel supplies and fighting in Libya.

Market news

Japan’s core consumer prices unexpectedly rose 0.1 percent in July from a year earlier on higher energy prices, but worries about the global economy cloud the outlook for consumer spending and the nation’s battle with deflation. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 5,000 to 417,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday (Aug 25).

While the level suggests the job market is still struggling to gain momentum, it falls well short of a recession signal. Japan’s crude rubber inventories rose nearly 8 percent in the period to Aug. 10 from 10 days earlier, off their lowest in about 10 months, industry data showed on Thursday (Aug 25), reflecting easing supply tightness.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average opened down 0.3 percent at 8,746.77 on Friday (Aug 26). U.S. stocks fell on Thursday (Aug 25) as investors raised cash ahead of a critical speech from Fed Chairman Bernanke, hoping he will give them a clearer picture of the Fed’s plans for the struggling economy.


May 2022