TOKYO, June 11 (Reuters) – Tokyo rubber futures ended 2.9 percent higher on Monday, paring last week’s losses, after euro zone finance ministers agreed on an aid package to help Spanish banks, easing investor fears and boosting the appetite for risk assets.
But few expect a further rally in rubber futures amid lingering concern about the economic slowdown in China, the world’s biggest rubber consumer, and uncertainty in Europe ahead of an election in Greece on June 17.
The most-active Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for November delivery <0#2JRU:> closed up 6.9 yen at 244.5 yen per kg after rising as high as 246.4 yen.
The November contract touched a new 2-1/2 month low of 232.2 yen in after-hours trade on Friday.
“Despite today’s rally, there’s a psychological barrier at 250 yen given the gloom in Europe,” said a trader at a Japanese commodity brokerage.
“The positive impact from the news over the weekend that Spain secured help looks limited and things will not get settled down until the elections in Greece,” the trader said.
The euro zone decided to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to reassure investors and prevent the threat of a bank run in case Greece’s crisis heats up again after its elections.
China’s inflation, industrial output and retail sales all flagged in May for the second straight month of sluggish growth that galvanised policymakers last week to cut interest rates for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis.
China could offer more support if needed to combat risks from the euro zone debt crisis and to promote stability in a year of leadership change, analysts said.
In Shanghai, the most active rubber contract for September delivery <0#SNR:> closed up 485 yuan at 22,770 yuan per tonne.
The front-month June rubber contract <0#STF:> on the SICOM in Singapore was last traded at 285 U.S. cents per kg, up 5 cents.
(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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