SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures rose on Wednesday, buoyed by an improvement in business sentiment and tracking gains in the Shanghai market over the recent easing of covid curbs in top buyer China. Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for May delivery finished 3.8 yen, or 1.7%, higher at 224.5 yen ($1.63) per kg, hitting its highest since Oct. 26.
The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery rose 15 yuan to finish at 12,940 yuan ($1,854) per tonne. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average closed down 0.72%.
Sentiments of big Japanese manufacturers rose for the first time in four months in December, and the service-sector mood hit a three-year high, a Reuters monthly poll found, in a sign of gradual recovery from Covid-19 doldrums.
Hopes have grown in recent weeks that rubber demand in top buyer China would improve as more cities relax Covid-19 restrictions that have limited industrial activity and consumption. China said on Wednesday it would allow Covid patients with mild symptoms to isolate at home as part of a set of new measures that marked a major shift in a tough anti-virus policy that has battered its economy and sparked historic protests.
Mainland China’s Health Commission reported 25,321 new coronavirus cases for Dec. 6, compared with 28,062 new cases a day earlier. China’s exports and imports shrank at their steepest pace in at least 2-1/2 years in November, as feeble global and domestic demand, COVID-led production disruptions and a property slump at home piled pressure on the world’s second-biggest economy.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for January delivery last traded at 136.4 US cents per kg, up 0.3%.