TOKYO, June 29 (Reuters) – Key TOCOM rubber futures closed slightly lower on Friday, paring most of the session’s decline after European leaders agreed on decisive action to lower the borrowing costs of Italy and Spain, but marking its worst quarterly return since the fourth quarter of 2008 amid concern over demand in Europe and China.
The summit of leaders from the 17-nation euro zone surprised markets on Friday by producing a deal to let the euro zone’s rescue fund be used to stabilise bond markets without forcing countries that comply with EU budget rules to adopt tough austerity measures.
The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for December delivery <0#2JRU:> closed down 0.1 yen at 240.2 yen. Earlier in the session, the contract fell as low as 233.2 yen, above a 2-1/2 year low of 227.8 yen marked on Monday.
The TOCOM market fell 25.8 percent on the quarter and 7.8 percent on the month.
Closely watched data on the manufacturing sector in China, the world’s biggest rubber consumer is due to be released on Sunday. An official survey of China’s factories likely showed activity fell to seven-month lows in June, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
But one analyst said the TOCOM market had mostly factored in a slowdown in demand from China as views were spread that the world’s second-biggest economy had hit a bottom and was already on a recovery course.
“I think any bad news was mostly factored in when the market hit a low of 227.8 yen (on Monday),” said Gu Jiong, analyst at Japanese commodity brokerage Yutaka Shoji. Gu added that any bullish news on the demand side could lift the TOCOM market toward the recent high of 257.4 yen.
The most active Shanghai rubber contract for September delivery <0#SNR:> closed up 430 yuan at 23,060 yuan per tonne.
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