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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures fell on Thursday, tracking losses in Thai raw material prices and Tokyo equities, although stronger China car sales numbers and more upbeat data from the country’s factory and service sectors limited the loss.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for December delivery finished down 2.0 yen, or 0.8%, at 257.4 yen ($1.89) per kg, its largest daily percentage drop since June 14.

“I think OSE prices were held back by lower latex prices but a weaker yen is supporting OSE a little,” said a Singapore-based trader.

“There are still some traders who think China demand won’t come back as quickly but the news so far these two days has been more bullish. I guess the long speculators are also watching other China commodities to see if there is an overall push up in price trend,” he added.

Thai latex prices hit their lowest level since Jan. 12 at 42.75 baht ($1.21) per kg on Wednesday.

Japanese stocks dropped on Thursday, losing more than 1.5% after data showed that monthly industrial production fell the most in two years and the yen weakened to a 24-year low overnight, stoking fears of an economic slowdown.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery was up 10 yuan to finish at 12,875 yuan ($1,923.74) per tonne.

China’s factory and service sectors snapped three months of activity decline in June, business surveys showed on Thursday, as authorities lifted a strict COVID lockdown in Shanghai, reviving output and consumer spending.

Retail car sales in China jumped 28% from June 20 to June 26 compared with the same period in May, data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) showed.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for July delivery last traded at 164.6 US cents per kg, down 0.3%.

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