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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures rallied on Thursday, as banking fears receded and China signalled its commitment to growing demand and opening further, although low prices hampered re-entry.

The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for September delivery was up 1.1 yen, or 0.5%, at 209.4 yen ($1.58) per kg as of 0217 GMT. Early last week, the OSE benchmark contract plunged to 201.9 yen, its lowest since Sept. 2021.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange (SHFE) for May delivery was up 35 yuan, or 0.3%, at 11,910 yuan ($1,725.89) per tonne. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average opened down 0.20%. The sale of assets in Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) on Monday, the regional US lender that collapsed on March 10, has propped up risk appetite among stock investors and eased stress across markets, giving cryptocurrencies and commodity prices a boost.

Similarly, China will strengthen macro policy adjustments and unleash the potential of consumption and investment, Chinese state radio cited Premier Li Qiang as saying on Wednesday.

Premier Li is set to deliver his keynote speech at the Boao Forum For Asia later today. Still, China’s factory activity likely grew at a slower pace in March, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday, suggesting the economic recovery is uneven in the light of weak global demand and a property slump.

Asian stocks rose on Thursday with fears easing on the banking front and the prospect of a break-up at Chinese conglomerate Alibaba offering an encouraging sign that Beijing’s regulatory storm focused on tech companies might finally be clearing.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for April delivery last traded at 134.5 US cents per kg, up 0.8%.

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