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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures plunged on Thursday, as investors took profits following a four-day rally, while a drop in oil prices and lower Tokyo equities also eroded risk appetite among investors.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for July delivery finished 6.7 yen, or 2.7%, lower at 241.0 yen ($2.1) per kg, marking the biggest daily percentage decline since Dec. 20. The benchmark touched a 1-1/2-week high on Wednesday.

“Since there were fewer participants during the past few days due to the Lunar New Year, some speculators may have come in to push up the market,” a Singapore-based trader said.

“Prices went up too fast so there was profit taking today,” he said, adding that a lower Nikkei and oil prices also might have dented risk sentiment.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average slid 1.06% on Thursday, weighed down by weaker Nasdaq futures, while investors sold tech stocks.

Oil prices eased on Thursday following weak US payrolls data and some profit taking, but remained underpinned by tight supply as OPEC+ producers stuck to planned moderate output increases.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for February delivery was not traded on Thursday.

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