December-delivery rubber advanced as much as 2.4 percent to 257.2 yen a kilogram ($3,229 a metric ton), the highest level for a most-active contract since June 18, before trading at 256 yen on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange at 10:48 a.m. That pared this year’s loss to 2.8 percent.
Asian stocks climbed for a sixth day, with the regional benchmark heading for its longest winning streak this year, after data showed U.S. factory orders rose in May for the first time in three months. General Motors Co. (GM), Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC reported U.S. auto sales for June that topped analysts’ estimates, helping the industry surpass projections and stay on pace for the best year since 2007.
“The better-than-expected figures underlined the strength of the U.S. auto industry, which is positive for rubber demand,” Kazuhiko Saito, an analyst at broker Fujitomi Co. in Tokyo, said today by phone.
U.S. auto sales accelerated to a 14.1 million seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to researcher Autodata Corp. The pace topped the 13.8 million light-vehicle rate that was the average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Auto- industry sales provide a bright spot in the U.S. economy that has been hindered by persistent unemployment and weakeningconsumer confidence.
Futures were also supported by speculation the Federal Reserve will take additional stimulus to boost growth, Saito said. The International Monetary Fund yesterday cut its growth forecast for the U.S. economy as Managing Director Christine Lagarde said further monetary policy easing may be needed by the Federal Reserve if the situation was to deteriorate.
Rubber for September delivery added 0.8 percent to 24,080 yuan ($3,793) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Thai rubber on a free-on-board basis was unchanged at 103.55 baht ($3.30) a kilogram yesterday, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.
Thailand’s Rubber Estate Organization raised the price at which it buys ribbed-smoked sheets from farmers by 0.2 percent to 95.17 baht a kilogram. That’s higher than the average auctioned price in three southern markets of 92.17 baht, it said.
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