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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures slipped on Wednesday, tracking weakness in Shanghai futures and lower raw material prices in top producer Thailand. However, losses were capped as a softer yen made yen-denominated assets more affordable when purchased in other currencies.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for November delivery finished down 0.7 yen, or 0.3%, at 254.0 yen ($1.86) per kg. Shanghai rubber futures were down mainly due to uncertainty about China’s COVID-19 situation and lower-than-expected natural rubber demand in the country, said a Singapore-based trader.

“SHFE is likely to rise soon as long as there is no major lockdown in China, as production and car sales are going up. For now, we believe the worst is almost over for SHFE,” he added. The dollar traded at 136.22 yen against 135.04 yen on Tuesday afternoon in Asia.

Thai latex prices hit their lowest level since Jan. 27 at 43.85 baht ($1.24) per kg on Wednesday. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery was down 175 yuan at 12,500 yuan ($1,858.71) per tonne, after hitting the lowest since May 10 of 12,455 yuan.

The Universal Beijing Resort said it would reopen on June 25 after being closed for nearly two months, as the number of new COVID-19 cases in the Chinese capital falls. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for July delivery last traded at 157.9 US cents per kg, down 1.5 percent.

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