SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures tracked losses in the Shanghai market on Friday and posted weekly declines, as continued concerns over slowing demand in top buyer China amid the surge in its COVID-19 cases weighed on sentiment.
The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for June delivery was down 2.4 yen, or 1.1%, at 222.6 yen ($1.68) per kg as of 0200 GMT. For the week so far, the benchmark OSE contract has declined about 3.4%. The OSE’s December contract expired at 211.0 yen per kg on Thursday.
The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery was down 125 yuan, or 1.0%, at 12,620 yuan ($1,805) per tonne. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average opened down 1.13%. Rubber demand sentiment has been mixed in recent weeks after top buyer China relaxed its strict Covid-19 curbs, which was immediately met with a fresh wave of new infections that limited industrial activity and consumption.
Mainland China’s Health Commission reported 3,761 new symptomatic coronavirus cases for Dec. 22, compared with 3,030 new cases a day earlier. Japan’s core consumer inflation hit a fresh four-decade high as companies continued to pass on rising costs to households, data showed, a sign price hikes were broadening and could keep the central bank under pressure to whittle down massive stimulus.