RUBBER PRICES EXPECTED TO REMAIN STEADY NEXT WEEK

ZARUL EFFENDI RAZALI

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian rubber market is expected to remain steady next week due to tight supply in major producing countries, disrupted by wet weather and an outbreak of a fungal disease, a dealer said.

However, he said that prices would likely be dampened by the uncertainty of the ongoing US-China trade deal, as well as the movement of the ringgit against the US dollar next week.

"The global commodity and equity markets have been see-sawing this week as investors reacted to multiple news reports that the US and China might not be able to reach a "phase one” deal until next year.

“However, investors’ optimism appears to have return slightly after China's commerce ministry said on Thursday that China is willing to work with the US to tackle the main concerns of both sides to try to reach a deal,” he said.

Throughout the week just-ended, the rubber market was mostly higher, tracking the firmer regional rubber futures market but gains were capped by the uncertainty of the US-China trade negotiations, as well as the fluctuation in oil prices and ringgit movement against the US dollar.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the Malaysian Rubber Board's reference physical price for tyre-grade SMR 20 increased 23 sen to 581.00 sen a kg and latex-in-bulk improved 9.0 sen to 447.00 sen a kg.

The 5 pm unofficial closing price for tyre-grade SMR 20 rose 30 sen to 586.0 sen a kg and latex-in-bulk was 12.5 sen higher at 449.50 sen a kg compared with the previous week.

-- BERNAMA