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TOKYO: Japanese rubber futures slid on Wednesday, on persisting worries over weak automobile sales in top buyer China as well as an impact from China Evergrande Group woes on the country’s economic growth and demand for the material.

Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for May delivery finished 0.5 yen, or 0.2%, lower at 236.5 yen ($2.1) per kg.

“Investors remained concerned about falling automobiles sales in China as well as a slow recovery in automobile output hit by a global shortage of semiconductors,” said Jiong Gu, an analyst at Yutaka Shoji Co.

“Lingering fears over Evergrande and China’s real estate market also weighed on sentiment,” he added.

China’s auto sales fell in October for a sixth consecutive month, slumping 9.4% from a year earlier, industry data showed on Wednesday, as a prolonged global chip shortages disrupted production.

Evergrande Group’s shares hit an all-time low after a missed debt payment deadline put the developer at risk of becoming China’s biggest defaulter, although hopes of a managed debt restructuring calmed fears of a messy collapse.

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