SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures snapped a seven-session rally on Friday, as crude oil prices slumped and the yen showed signs of recovery.

The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for April delivery was down 5.2 yen, or 1.9%, at 268.7 yen ($1.78) per kg as of 0200 GMT. The benchmark contract posted a weekly gain on 1.5% so far in the week, and is on track to post its second consecutive week of gains.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange (SHFE) for January delivery was down 200 yuan, or 1.4%, at 14,285 yuan ($1,971.51) per metric ton.

The Japanese yen was on track for its best week against the dollar in four months on Friday on the prospect of a narrowing US-Japan rate differential, with bets that the Federal Reserve is done raising rates.

The yen last strengthened 0.1% and stood at 150.72 per dollar, remaining on the weaker side of the 150 threshold and not far from Monday’s one-year low of 151.92 per dollar.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average opened down 0.24%. Oil prices were on track for the fourth straight week of decline after slipping about 5% to a four-month low on Thursday on worries over global demand. Natural rubber often takes direction from oil prices as it competes for market share with synthetic rubber, which is made from crude oil. Asian shares took a breather as a batch of softer US economic data took some of the steam out of Wall Street, but also boosted bonds in a big way while slugging oil prices in a boon for the inflation outlook.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for December delivery last traded at 147.7 US cents per kg, down 0.9%.


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