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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures edged higher on Monday, underpinned by gains in domestic equities and a weaker yen, but diminishing manufacturing activity in Japan capped gains.

The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for December delivery grew 1.0 yen, or 0.5%, to 203.0 yen ($1.44) per kg as of 0200 GMT, up slightly from a near two-year low hit in the previous session.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange (SHFE) for September delivery was down 40 yuan, or 0.3%, at 12,085 yuan ($1,681.27) per metric ton.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average opened up 1.06%.

The yen fell last week, following a Reuters report that the Bank of Japan was leaning towards keeping its yield curve control policy unchanged, making yen-dominated assets more affordable for overseas buyers.

China’s state planner on Monday unveiled measures that seek to spur activity of private investment in some infrastructure sectors, and will strengthen financing support for private-invested projects.

Still, Japan’s manufacturing activity extended declines in July while growth in the service sector slowed, surveys showed on Monday, as weak demand and souring confidence weighed on business in the world’s third-largest economy.

Rubber inventories in warehouses monitored by SHFE rose 0.5% from a week earlier, the exchange said on Friday.

Asian shares marked time on Monday ahead of an action-packed week of earnings and central bank meetings that will likely see higher rates in Europe and the U.S, and just possibly the end of the tightening cycle in both.

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