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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures climbed on Wednesday, recouping losses from the previous session, as a weaker local currency made yen-denominated assets more affordable when purchased in other units.

Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for October delivery finished up 1.6 yen, or 0.8%, at 212.0 yen ($1.57) per kg. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery fell 25 yuan to finish at 12,255 yuan ($1,772.98) per tonne. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average closed 0.84% higher, topping 30,000 for the first time since 2021.

Japan’s relative stability to the US helped lift prices, although demand is still projected to be weak for Q2-3, said a Singapore-based trader, adding that many are looking for bullish indicators to buy rubber at its low price.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.32% against the dollar to 136.82. Data this week showed China’s April industrial output and retail sales growth undershot forecast, although Japan’s economy emerged from recession and grew faster than expected in the first quarter. Democratic President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy edged closer to a deal to avoid a looming US debt default Tuesday, as the threat of an economic nightmare prompted Biden to cut short an Asia trip this week.

Meanwhile, tyre-makers in the US and European Union (EU) are under pressure to almost literally reinvent the wheel as regulators turn their scrutiny to tyre pollution that is set to surge with the rise of electric vehicles (EVs).

Asian shares were subdued and the dollar hovered around a five-week peak as investors remained risk-averse, with the US debt ceiling talks and a mixed set of economic data weighing on sentiment.

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