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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures slid to a 7-1/2-week low on Tuesday, as weaker Tokyo stock market and domestic economic data weighed on sentiment.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for October delivery finished down 3.3 yen, or 1.3%, at 248.2 yen ($1.91) per kg, after hitting the lowest since March 18 of 245.6 yen earlier in the session.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average was down 0.6% on Tuesday.

Japan’s household spending fell in March for the first time in three months, though the drop was smaller than expected, as consumers remained wary of rising living costs despite some easing of COVID-19 curbs.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery was up 150 yuan to finish at 12,765 yuan ($1,898.40) per tonne.

Shanghai prices rose due to a rebound from yesterday’s low, a Singapore-based trader said.

There is no change in the bearish sentiment of traders in the Shanghai market due to the ongoing COVID-19 curbs in China, he added.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for June delivery last traded at 157.8 US cents per kg, up 1.3%.

Tesla operated its Shanghai plant well below capacity on Tuesday, showing the problems factories there face trying to ramp up output under a tightening COVID lockdown, while China’s capital Beijing kept fighting a small, but elusive outbreak.

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