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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures rose for a sixth straight session after a soft start on Monday to hit a fresh seven-year high, amid supply concerns in top producer Thailand and encouraging China consumption data, although a stronger yen also weighed on market sentiment.

The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for July delivery closed up 2.4 yen, or 0.81%, at 298.5 yen ($1.99) per kg, the highest close since Feb. 17, 2017.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) for May delivery resumed trading after a one-week break, and rose 245 yuan to finish at 13,465 yuan ($1,870.87) per metric ton.

Thailand’s meteorological agency warned that severe weather from Feb. 23-25 in northeastern, eastern, and central Thailand could lead to crop damage.

Intense daytime temperatures in Malaysia have led to lower latex production and forced some rubber tappers to work at night, Malaysia-based Bernama reported. Tourism revenue in China during the Lunar New Year holidays that ended on Saturday surged by 47.3% year-on-year and surpassed 2019 levels, thanks to a domestic travel boom amid a longer-than-usual break.

China’s box office revenue exceeded 8 billion yuan ($1.11 billion) during the eight-day break, marking a record high. China is widely expected to trim the benchmark reference rate for mortgages at the monthly fixing on Tuesday, a Reuters survey showed.

China’s BYD said it plans to launch a number of high-end luxury models from this year.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.15% to 149.99 against the dollar, following high readings on US producer and consumer prices that saw markets sharply scale back pricing for US rate cuts. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average closed down 0.04%. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for March delivery last traded at 154.50 US cents per kg, up 0.13%.

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