TOKYO: Japanese rubber futures rose on Wednesday as a softer yen against the U.S. dollar prompted fresh buying, but sluggish domestic automobile sales and fears over rising COVID-19 cases worldwide limited gains.
Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for June delivery finished 4.2 yen, or 1.8%, higher at 243.8 yen ($2.1) per kg.
The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery climbed 15 yuan to finish at 14,750 yuan ($2,316) per tonne.
The Japanese yen was last trading at 115.90 to the dollar on Wednesday, near a five-year low hit in the previous session amid expectations of U.S. Federal Reserve rate hikes.
On the downside, Japan’s domestic new car sales fell 11.4% in December from a year earlier, in a sign that supply bottlenecks continued to delay deliveries and weigh on the country’s fragile consumption.