SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures inched lower on Monday, tracking weaker domestic equities and losses in the Shanghai market as new reports over the weekend highlighting an increase in COVID-19 deaths in top buyer China dented demand sentiment.
The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for June delivery was down 0.3 yen, or 0.1%, at 223.4 yen ($1.75) per kg as of 0210 GMT. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery was down 75 yuan, or 0.6%, at 12,940 yuan ($1,934) per tonne.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average opened down 1.08%. Japan’s annual wholesale prices rose at a faster-than-expected pace in December, data showed on Monday, adding to recent growing signs of inflationary pressure that could keep the central bank under pressure to raise interest rates.
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 said on Saturday nearly 60,000 people with COVID-19 had died in hospital since it abandoned its zero-COVID policy last month.