RUBBER-Tokyo futures jump after Fed surprises with no tapering

September 19, 2013

TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended up 2.7 percent on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve unexpectedly postponed a scale-back of its monetary stimulus, boosting global equity and commodity prices.

The Fed defied investor expectations on Wednesday by sticking to its $85 billion a month bond buying for now, saying it wanted to wait for more evidence of solid economic growth.

"FOMC's decision to continue the status quo of monetary easing was quite a surprise, boosting the market," said a Tokyo-based broker.

The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) for February delivery rose 7.5 yen to settle at 285.3 yen ($2.88) per kg.

The benchmark jumped by more than 3 percent to as high as 287 yen in early trade, the highest since Sept. 9.

Market talk that the Chinese government is considering buying an additional 200,000 tonnes of rubber for stockpiling also supported the market, as well as the strength in oil and gold since yesterday, he added.

Brent oil rose for a second day on Thursday to $111.18 a barrel by 0920 GMT.

China bought some rubber cargoes from Thailand and Indonesia for nearby delivery and could be looking for more as the market was abuzz with talk that the world's largest consumer could stockpile again, dealers said on Thursday.

Last year, China announced it would buy up to 200,000 tonnes of rubber from the domestic market to support prices, but dealers said only a fraction was purchased by the end of 2012.

Shanghai rubber markets are shut on Thursday and Friday for the Mid-Autumn Festival public holiday.

Natural rubber exports from Ivory Coast, Africa's leading grower of the commodity, rose nearly 13 percent to 197,837 tonnes by end-August since the start of the year compared with the same period last year, provisional port data showed on Wednesday.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for October delivery last traded at 246 U.S. cents per kg, up 4.9 cents. ($1 = 98.9400 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)