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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures ended at about seven-week high on Monday, tracking gains in raw material prices, as sentiment was boosted by China easing its COVID curbs.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for November delivery finished up 2.8 yen, or 1.1%, at 262.6 yen ($2.01) per kg, after hitting its highest since April 20 at 263.9 yen earlier in the session. It rose for an eighth straight session.

The dollar traded at 130.75 yen against 129.83 yen on Friday afternoon in Asia.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average was up 0.6% on Monday.

The easing of China’s COVID measures is the main driving force for OSE prices today, said a Singapore-based trader.

Traders are bullish as they see the sale of cars resuming and factories increasing production, he added.

“But there are also some bearish sentiments with regards to China’s growth for the mid to long-term,” another Singapore-based trader said.

Thai latex prices hit their highest level since April 12 at 52.85 baht ($1.54) per kg on Monday.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery was up 30 yuan to finish at 13,350 yuan ($2,007.31) per tonne, after hitting its highest since April 20 at 13,450 yuan earlier in the session.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for July delivery last traded at 168.2 US cents per kg, down 0.1%.

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