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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures rose for a second session on Monday, although weakness in energy markets limited gains. The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for February delivery added 1 yen, or 0.4%, at 234.9 yen ($1.60) per kg.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange (SHFE) for January delivery lost 0.3% to 14,355 yuan ($1,968.62) per metric ton. Oil prices dipped on Monday after fresh Saudi and Russian crude output cuts had driven prices to 10-month highs last week.

Natural rubber often takes direction from oil prices as it competes with synthetic rubber, made from crude oil, for a market share. Asia stock markets started to turn positive later on Monday even though investors in China sold off shares in property developers, remaining unconvinced by authorities’ efforts to revive activity in the mainland real estate market.

The yen jumped as comments from Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Kazuo Ueda stoked hopes that Japan could soon herald a new era away from negative rates, while the dollar slid ahead of this week’s key US inflation reading.

Japan’s Nikkei share average gave up early gains on Monday to close lower, as a report flagged a possible early end to the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for October delivery last traded at 144.3 US cents per kg, up 0.7%.

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