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Rubber plunges

Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures plunged to a nearly 4-month low on Thursday, extending losses into a third session, as a stronger yen weighed on market sentiment. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for November delivery finished 5.5 yen, or 3.5 percent, lower at 150.8 yen ($1.42) per kg. It earlier touched a low of 150.2 yen, the lowest since February 19.

The TOCOM futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, came under strong selling pressure in early afternoon trade as the yen moved higher. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for July delivery last traded at 123 US cents per kg, down 4.1 cent. Data showed that Japan's core machinery orders tumbled 11 percent in April from the previous month, more than the median estimate of a 3.8 percent drop, in a worrying sign for business investment.