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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures inched higher on Friday, helped by a stronger Tokyo stock market and soaring oil prices which boosted investors’ risk appetite.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for July delivery finished 0.6 yen, or 0.2%, higher at 241.6 yen ($2.10) per kg. The benchmark booked a 0.9% increase for the week, its first weekly gain in three.

“A stronger Nikkei and high crude oil prices lent support to Japan rubber futures,” a Singapore-based trader said.

“But the market is quite flat today with thin trading, since most traders are being cautious and waiting for the Shanghai Futures Exchange to resume trading next week,” he added.

Mainland Chinese markets are shut for a week-long Lunar New Year holiday from Jan. 31.

Oil prices climbed on Friday, extending sharp gains from the previous session, as frigid weather swept across large swathes of the United States, threatening to further disrupt oil supplies.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average rose 0.7% on Friday. For the week, it booked a 2.71% advance, its best performance since mid-October, tracking moves in global shares on overall healthy corporate earnings, led by U.S. firms.

Bank of Japan must keep monetary policy ultra-loose as inflation remains well below that of other economies, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Friday, brushing aside the view it could follow in the footsteps of more hawkish U.S. and European peers.

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