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BEIJING: Japanese rubber futures took a breather on Tuesday after a sharp jump in the previous session, with a firmer yen making assets denominated by the currency less affordable for overseas buyers.

The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for May delivery was unchanged at 242.5 yen ($1.67) per kg.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) for May delivery gained 35 yuan, or 0.26%, at 13,590 yuan ($1,893.94) per metric ton.

China’s government said on Monday it has started offering insurance for natural rubber producers to encourage higher output and increase the country’s self-sufficiency rate in producing the latex used to make tyres. Rubber inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 8.3% from last Friday, the exchange said last week.

China’s consumer prices fell the fastest in three years in November, while factory gate deflation deepened as weak domestic demand casts doubt over the economic recovery. The yen nursed losses on Tuesday as traders walked back expectations for a Japan rate hike, while the dollar was waiting on US inflation data and a slew of central bank meetings.

Japan’s Nikkei share average notched a modest gain on Tuesday amid waning expectations for an imminent move by the Bank of Japan at its policy meeting next week and Wall Street’s record closing for the year.

Oil prices ticked up but investors remained cautious ahead of key interest rate decisions and inflation data releases, while concerns over excess supply and slowing growth in demand kept a lid on gains.

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