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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures snapped a three-day rally on Wednesday, as traders reacted to discouraging manufacturing data from China and the yen continued to strengthen.

The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for May delivery closed down 2.7 yen or 1%, at 268 yen ($1.82) per kg.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange (SHFE) for January delivery was down 300 yuan, or 2.2%, at 13,605 yuan ($1,911.03) per metric ton, a three-month low. China’s manufacturing activity likely contracted for a second consecutive month in November, a Reuters poll showed, keeping alive calls for further stimulus measures as factory owners struggle for orders both at home and abroad. The Japanese yen was last up 0.3% at 147.08 against the dollar, its strongest level in more than two months.

A stronger yen makes yen-denominated assets less affordable when purchased in other currencies. The Bank of Japan is expected to begin exiting its ultra-loose monetary policy sometime next year, with more than half of the economists polled by Reuters expecting a move in April.

Toyota Motor said on Wednesday its global vehicle production hit a record in October, helped by an easing of the semiconductor shortage and defying the impact of an accident at a supplier facility. US consumer confidence rose in November after three straight monthly declines, with Americans planning big-ticket purchases like motor vehicles and houses over the next six months even as they continued to fret over higher prices and interest rates.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average closed 0.26% lower. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for December delivery last traded at 144.5 US cents per kg, down 0.1%.

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