SINGAPORE, June 4 (Reuters) – Tokyo rubber futures sank to their lowest since late 2009 on Monday after speculators dumped riskier assets such as equities and commodities on concerns the debt crisis in Europe could spark a global economic meltdown.
The sell-off in Tokyo, which spilled into rubber futures in Shanghai, were also triggered by disappointing U.S. jobs data that added to concerns over a slowing Chinese economy. China is the world’s largest rubber consumer.
The benchmark contract for November delivery on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange fell more than 5 percent to as low 240.3 yen a kg, its weakest since November 2009, before ending at 242.8 yen, down 12.5 yen.
“The crisis is not over. You have crude oil prices coming down, and there’s a sell-off in commodities. I guess 225 yen will be the support level, while resistance is at 270 yen,” a dealer in Kuala Lumpur said.
“The market will be under tremendous pressure this week before the Greek election. You can’t really talk about intervention by Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. We are dealing with a global sell-off in commodities.”
Thailand, the world’s biggest rubber producer and exporter, said last week it was seeking concerted action with fellow producers Indonesia and Malaysia to stabilise falling rubber prices.
Slower growth in major economies and worry about Europe’s debt crisis has hit rubber demand and led to falling prices in recent months. That has sparked sporadic protests by farmers in Thailand demanding government intervention.
In other markets, oil hit a 16-month low, Shanghai copper futures fell more than 3 percent and equities tumbled across Asia.
Supporters and opponents of Greece’s international bailout are virtually neck and neck going into a June 17 election that may decide the country’s future in the euro zone, polls showed on Friday, the last day their publication is allowed.
In Shanghai, the most active rubber contract on Shanghai futures, September, ended limit down to 22,305 yuan a tonne on Monday, its weakest since July 2010, chasing declines on TOCOM.
The front-month June rubber contract on the SICOM in Singapore was last traded at 291 U.S. cents per kg, down 13.50 cents.
U.S. job growth braked sharply for a third straight month in May and the unemployment rate rose for the first time in nearly a year, raising the chance of further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve to support the sputtering recovery.
(Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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