SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures snapped a three-session losing streak on Wednesday, tracking a firm Shanghai market over continued hopes of an economic recovery in top buyer China following the dismantling of its strict COVID-19 curbs.
The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for June delivery was up 2.3 yen, or 1%, at 222.9 yen ($1.68) per kg, as of 0200 GMT. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery was up 220 yuan, or 1.7%, at 13,115 yuan ($1,932) per tonne. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average opened 0.71% higher.
The yen was roughly 0.1% weaker at 132.34 per dollar. A weaker Japanese currency makes yen-denominated assets more affordable when purchased in other units. Rubber demand sentiment has been mixed over the past month after China relaxed its strict COVID-19 restrictions, which were immediately followed by a fresh wave of infections.
China’s passenger car sales rose 2.4% in December as consumers rushed to make use of a subsidy for electric vehicles (EV) before they expired last month, with sales likely to sharply weaken in January, an auto industry body said on Tuesday.
Morgan Stanley has bumped up its China growth, stock market and yuan forecasts again, becoming the latest Wall Street heavyweight to do so as the country rapidly dismantles two years of tight COVID-19 restrictions.
Asian equities edged higher on Wednesday, while the dollar steadied as investors braced for US inflation data that will guide the path the Federal Reserve is likely to take over its interest rate hike policy.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for February delivery last traded at 136.0 US cents per kg, up 1.1%.