Financial markets in general showed a little more in the way
of confidence on Wednesday, with hopes that central banks will move to shore up
the flagging global economy.
The European Central Bank is expected this week to cut interest
rates to a record low, with the US seen increasingly likely to act too, after
the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its estimate for American
Investors also gained cheer from data showing US factory
orders rose in May for the first time in three months.
So many risk assets managed headway on Wednesday, despite
the absence of a lead from US markets, closed for Independence Day.
Shares rose on Asian markets, adding 0.4% in Tokyo, Singapore
and Seoul, and 1.1% in Sydney.
And, on agricultural commodity markets, rubber managed gains
And as an extra impetus for buyers, Chrysler Group, Ford
Motor and General Motors managed US car sales for June above analysts' forecasts,
hitting 14.1m units at an annualised rate, seasonally adjusted, according to
The data helped rubber to defy a forecast from the Association
of Natural Rubber Producing Countries of a 4.9% rise in global natural rubber
production this year, an estimate that Ker Chung Yang at Phillip Futures warned
"may weigh on prices".
Tokyo rubber for December added 2.1% to 256.40 yen a
kilogramme, reaching the highest for a benchmark contract in nearly three
But some other agricultural commodities found greater
trouble in setting much of a trend, in the absence of a clear lead from the US.
Rubber, after all is an industrial raw material grown, and
largely used, in Asia.
Palm oil found
its recovery from June's seven-month lows harder to sustain in the absence of a
lead from Chicago, where prices of soybeans, the source of rival soyoil, have
been soaring thanks to a US heatwave which is drastically reducing the condition
of the American crop.
September palm oil was higher as of 08:45 UK time, but not
by much, adding 1 ringgit to 3,125 ringgit a tonne.
Mr Ker noted "rising demand ahead of the Muslim fasting
month Ramadan that begins in end-July" as a support for prices, which have
gained 10% from a June 14 low.