SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures edged higher on Thursday on stronger Tokyo equities and expectations of tighter raw material output, although gains were capped by COVID-19 concerns in top buyer China.
The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for September delivery finished up 0.6 yen, or 0.2%, at 261.4 yen ($2.04) per kg. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average rose 1.2% on Thursday to its highest close in more than two weeks. Thai raw material prices are steady but expectations that there would be rain in Thailand over the next 10 days may affect output, said a Singapore-based trader.
Traders in the Shanghai market were bearish as COVID-19 curbs in China were affecting logistics and productivity, he added.
The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery was down 140 yuan to finish at 13,270 yuan ($2,058.77) per tonne, after touching the lowest level since March 17 of 13,205 yuan earlier in the session. The growth of China’s government fiscal revenue slowed in March compared with the first two months of the year, finance ministry data showed on Wednesday, further weighing on a flagging recovery, already weakened by COVID flare-ups.
A prolonged slowdown in China would have substantial global spillovers, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday, but added that Beijing has room to adjust policy to provide support.