SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures reversed to end lower on Thursday as initial enthusiasm over fresh fiscal stimulus in China dwindled and as supply started to recover, though a weak yen limited losses. The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for April delivery was down 3.8 yen, or 1.4%, at 261.7 yen ($1.74) per kg at closing. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange (SHFE) for January delivery was up 20 yuan, or 0.1%, at 14,605 yuan ($1,995.52) per metric ton. A Singapore-based trader attributed the decline in rubber futures to better weather conditions and supply availability in northern Thailand.
“China’s fiscal stimulus has been perceived as beneficial for market sentiments, albeit falling short of expectations, potentially limiting its economic impact,” the trader added. China, a top consumer of rubber, is set to release fresh fiscal stimulus to shore up its economic recovery, drawing on a well-used playbook that relies heavily on debt and state spending. The Japanese yen weakened to hit a fresh one-year low of 150.48 per dollar and was not far off the 32-year low of 151.94 per dollar it touched in October last year that led to Japanese authorities intervening in the currency market.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average closed down 2.14%, slumping to its worst day in three weeks as chip-related stocks led a broad selloff amid rising long-term yields and a tumble in US tech stocks overnight.