SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures fell on Wednesday after two consecutive sessions of gains as concerns over slower-than-expected growth in top consumer China dampened sentiment, although high oil prices lent some support.

Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for February delivery finished 2.5 yen, or 1.1% lower at 232.4 yen ($1.58) per kg. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery fell 160 yuan to finish at 14,235 yuan ($1,954.69) per metric ton.

Confidence at big Japanese manufacturers fell the most in eight months, while morale in the services sector also slumped on worries that a slowdown in China’s economy could be a bigger drag on growth globally and at home, a Reuters poll for September showed.

Oil rose on Wednesday, firming its ground near a 10-month peak reached during trading a day earlier, as the market balanced supply concerns over Libya output and OPEC+ cuts with global macroeconomic headwinds. Natural rubber often takes direction from oil prices as it competes for market share with synthetic rubber, which is made from crude oil.

The yen declined 0.2% against the US dollar, and last traded at 147.39. A weaker yen makes assets denominated by the currency more affordable for overseas buyers. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average closed down 0.2%.

Asian shares fell after Wall Street wobbled overnight with markets bracing for key US inflation data on Wednesday, while an oil price spike stoked anxiety about persistent price pressures, complicating the interest rate outlook.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for October delivery last traded at 140.6 US cents per kg, down 1.5%.


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