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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures inched lower on Wednesday, as a firmer yen limited demand and made yen-denominated assets less affordable when purchased in other currencies.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for October delivery ended down 1.7 yen, or 0.7%, at 244.9 yen ($1.92) per kg.

The dollar traded at 127.16 yen, against 127.60 yen on Tuesday afternoon in Asia.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average was down 0.3%.

Even though China’s COVID curbs are slowly easing, the market seems to be struggling to go up, said a Singapore-based trader.

There are mixed views amongst traders in the Shanghai market and sideways trading is to be expected, he added.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery was up 45 yuan to finish at 13,145 yuan ($1,971.03) per tonne.

China’s COVID-hit capital Beijing further tightened its dragnet on the virus with zero community transmission the target, punishing workplaces that flout rules or circumvent curbs and imploring residents to police their own movements.

China stocks seesawed on Wednesday and edged up at midday break, as traders mulled over authorities’ economic support promises and a slowing growth outlook as China continues to grapple with the spread of COVID-19.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for June delivery last traded at 161.5 US cents per kg, down 0.4%.

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