TOKYO: Japanese rubber futures were steady on Friday as concerns over slower economic growth in top buyer China were offset by expectations that soft data could prompt Beijing to roll out further support measures.
As of 0156 GMT, the Osaka Exchange rubber contract for February delivery was at 207.5 yen ($1.9) per kg, unchanged from the previous session.
For the week, the contract was headed for a 0.5% gain, following two weekly losses. China is likely to accelerate fiscal spending and credit growth as its economic recovery slows, but investors are expecting any easing measures from Beijing to be finely targeted as the US Federal Reserve prepares to taper its own stimulus.
Japan’s weak data weighed on market sentiment. Services sector activity contracted in August at the fastest pace in more than a year as a resurgence of COVID-19 cases dealt a blow to a recovery in the world’s third-largest economy.
The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery was down 55 yuan, or 0.4%, at 13,690 yuan ($2,119) per tonne on Friday.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for October delivery last traded at 162.3 US cents per kg, flat from the previous session.