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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures touched a two-week high on Monday, as a stronger Tokyo stock market lifted sentiment while the relaxing of COVID-19 curbs in top rubber consumer China increased hopes for firmer rubber demand in the country.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for December delivery finished up 3.7 yen at 259.0 yen ($1.92) per kg, after hitting its highest since June 13 of 259.5 yen earlier in the session.

The new benchmark gained 5.1 yen, or 2%, compared with Friday’s close of the November contract, the previous benchmark.

The OSE’s June contract expired at 270.0 yen per kg on Friday.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average was up 1.4%.

While SHFE may rebound in the coming week, Thai raw material supply is increasing which may keep a lid on prices, said a Singapore-based trader.

If SHFE prices continue to increase, OSE prices might track prices upwards too, he added.

The Shanghai Exchange rubber contract for September delivery was up 80 yuan to finish at 12,850 yuan ($1,922.24) per tonne, after earlier hitting its highest since June 15 of 12,945 yuan.

Beijing said on Saturday that it would allow primary and secondary schools to resume in-person classes and Shanghai’s top party boss declared victory over COVID-19 after the city reported zero new local cases for the first time in two months.

Shanghai will gradually resume dining-in at restaurants from June 29 in low-risk areas and areas without any community-level spread of COVID-19 during the previous week, a Shanghai government official said on Sunday.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for July delivery last traded at 161.6 US cents per kg, up 0.1%.

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