TOKYO: Japanese rubber futures slid for a third straight session on Friday, with the market dropping to its lowest since late-January, as concerns over slowing demand in top consumer China weighed on prices.
The Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for December delivery was down 1.8 yen, or 0.8%, at 235.9 yen ($1.72) per kg as of 0145 GMT. The benchmark is headed for a weekly decline of more than 2%.
There are concerns over slowing rubber demand in top consumer China, as extended lockdowns following fresh outbreaks of COVID-19 reduce industrial activity and consumption.
Mainland China’s Health Commission reported 1,011 new coronavirus cases for July 21, of which 175 were symptomatic and 836 were asymptomatic, compared to the 943 new cases a day earlier.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average opened down 0.11% at 27,773.14 on Friday, while the broader Topix shed 0.26% at 1,945.54.
The Bank of Japan projected inflation would exceed its target this year in fresh forecasts issued on Thursday, but maintained ultra-low interest rates and signalled its resolve to remain an outlier in a wave of global central banks’ policy tightening.
Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Friday that hiking rates could knock the economy’s recovery, signalling support for the Bank of Japan’s stance to keep monetary stimulus despite a global tightening trend amid rising inflation.
The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery was down 95 yuan, or 0.8% at 11,665 yuan ($1,725.52) per tonne.
A gauge of global stock markets rose for a fifth straight session while the euro edged up in choppy trading after the European Central Bank raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade as it seeks to rein in inflation.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for August delivery last traded at 155.6 US cents per kg, down 0.4%.