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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures edged down on Wednesday, as investors flocked to safe-haven assets amid heightened global tensions, while lower oil prices also weighed on sentiment.

The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for September delivery closed down 2.8 yen, or 0.89%, at 311.5 yen ($2.02) per kg, the lowest close since March 11.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) for September delivery fell 15 yuan to finish at 14,560 yuan ($2,011.80) per metric ton. Persistent geopolitical tension in the Middle East has dented sentiment in the rubber market, causing speculative investors to stay away from risky assets and seek shelter under safe-haven US dollar and gold, said Jom Jacob, co-founder of India-based analysis firm What Next Rubber.

Oil prices extended losses on Wednesday on worries about global demand due to weak economic momentum in China and a likely rise in US commercial stockpiles. Natural rubber often takes direction from oil prices as it competes for market share with synthetic rubber, which is made from crude oil.

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