By Vibhuti Agarwal

Rubber prices across Asia ended lower Thursday as U.S. political worries continue to weigh on markets.

Benchmark Tokyo rubber future prices continue to trade weaker, pulled down by a decline in Japanese shares and a stronger yen against the U.S. dollar.

Japanese equities fell amid President Donald Trump's recent criticism of the Japanese currency, which has sent the yen higher.

A stronger yen makes yen-denominated assets less affordable when purchased in other currencies. It is considered a negative for Japanese exports, traders say.

The Tocom rubber contract for July delivery ended Y5.4 lower at Y310.1/kg.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange earlier asked traders for information on their positions toprobe whether activity has met the terms of the exchange. Investors aren't normally required to provide such information.

In other Asian markets, the front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for June delivery ended at 283.0 U.S. cents per kilogram, down 1.8 cents.

The Shanghai futures remained closed due to the Lunar New Year holidays.

Asian Rubber Futures

Feb 2 Change from previous close

Tocom Jul RSS3 Y310.1/Kg Down Y5.4

Shanghai May SCR5 CLOSED ---

Sicom Jun RSS3 283.0 US cents/Kg Down 1.8 US cents

Sicom Mar TSR20 228.9 US cents/Kg Down 0.1 US cents

USS Feb THB90.25-THB90.56/Kg THB91.55-THB92.12/Kg

By Vibhuti Agarwal at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 02, 2017 05:52 ET (10:52 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.