TOKYO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended down on Wednesday as investors locked in profits from recent gains, taking a cue from weak Shanghai futures.
Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, pared early declines of more than 3 percent as the dollar held gains near a 3-1/2-week high after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signalled a faster pace of U.S. interest rate hikes.
TOCOM futures slumped around 13 percent from their highest levels in more than five years hit late last month, but recent gains have been weighing on tyre manufacturers, industry sources said.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd said on Tuesday the surging cost of raw materials would likely impact earnings in 2017, as Japan's second-largest tyre maker forecast a more than 30 percent fall in full-year operating profit.
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for July delivery finished down 6.7 yen at 319.7 yen ($2.80) per kg.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery dropped 340 yuan to finish at 21,550 yuan ($3,138) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for March delivery last traded at 227.40 U.S. cents per kg, down 4.2 cents.
($1 = 6.8668 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 114.3300 yen)
Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips