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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures climbed on Friday and were on track for their first weekly rise in three, tracking gains in the Shanghai market and as a oil price surge fanned expectation that users of synthetic rubber, which is derived from crude oil, may switch to natural rubber.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for August delivery was up 2.4 yen, or 1.0%, at 247.6 yen ($2.09) per kg, as of 0129 GMT.

Wall Street stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors weighed economic implications of the Federal Reserve’s surprisingly aggressive interest rate stance, while oil prices surged on supply shortage concerns arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery was up 85 yuan, or 0.6%, at 13,360 yuan ($2,105.30) per tonne.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the country to take more effective COVID-19 measures and minimise the impact of the epidemic on economic development, state television said on Thursday, as the country battles a new wave of infections.

China’s retail gasoline prices have been hiked to levels not seen since at least 2006 while diesel prices were increased to a decade-high after global oil benchmarks surged in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for April delivery last traded at 171.9 US cents per kg, up 0.1%.

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