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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures rose for a second session on Thursday, as oil prices climbed on the back of strong demand for commodities. The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for June delivery finished 0.2% higher at 250.5 yen ($2.19) per kg. The benchmark reached its highest in nearly two months on Wednesday.

Oil steadied on Thursday, clawing back losses earlier in the session, as strong demand and short-term supply disruptions continue to support prices close to their highest levels since late 2014. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery was down 105 yuan, at 14,940 yuan ($2,356.24) per tonne.

China’s economy rebounded in 2021 with its best growth in a decade, helped by robust exports, but there are signs that momentum is slowing on weakening consumption and a property downturn, pointing to the need for more policy support.

Also weighing on sentiment, Japan on Wednesday widened COVID-19 curbs to the capital Tokyo and a dozen regions covering half the population as the Omicron variant of coronavirus drove record new infections.

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