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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures inched higher on Thursday, tracking gains in the Shanghai market after the Chinese central bank reaffirmed greater policy support to spark economic growth, although weaker domestic equities capped gains.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for April delivery was up 0.3 yen, or 0.1%, at 217.2 yen ($1.55) per kg as of 0200 GMT.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery was up 60 yuan, or 0.5%, at 12,690 yuan ($1,783) per tonne. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average opened down 0.27%.

China will step up implementation of its prudent monetary policy and stabilise employment and prices in an effort to consolidate and improve an upward trend of the economy amid rising downside risks from the global economy, its central bank on Wednesday.

Past months have seen growing concerns over slowing rubber demand in China as the country struggles with a property crisis, heat waves disrupting production, and extended lockdowns hitting industrial activity and consumption.

Mainland China’s Health Commission reported 23,276 new coronavirus cases for Nov 16, compared with 20,199 new cases a day earlier.

Japan’s imports surged by more than half in October from a year earlier, dwarfing exports and delivering another trade deficit, which has weighed heavily on the yen and added upward pressure to costs of living and doing business.

Asian stocks were mixed on Thursday while the US dollar stabilized and Treasury yields remained depressed as investors tried to assess the outlook for Federal Reserve policy.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for December delivery last traded at 128.5 US cents per kg, down 1.0%.

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