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Tokyo rubber hits near 4-month high

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures hit a nearly 4-month high on Wednesday, despite lack of clarity on a US-Sino trade deal, as sharp gains in Shanghai futures prompted fresh buying.

TOCOM's rubber contract for April delivery finished 3.5 yen, or 1.9%, higher at 186.1 yen ($1.72) per kg. It touched the highest since July 26 of 187.0 yen earlier in the session.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery rose 445 yuan to finish at 12,530 yuan ($1,782) per tonne. China's new technically specified rubber (TSR) 20 futures contract was last up 430 yuan at 10,675 yuan per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for December delivery last traded at 140.4 US cents per kg, up 2.6%.

“There were no clear fundamental reasons to buy, with Tokyo stock market dropping and amid lingering concerns over progress in the US-China trade talks," said Toshitaka Tazawa, an analyst at commodities broker Fujitomi Co.

“Since the TOCOM's forward contract has been rallying faster than physical prices in Thailand, we may see some adjustments soon," he said.

Late Tuesday, US President Donald Trump had threatened to raise tariffs further if China would not agree to a deal that he liked.

The US dollar was quoted around 108.43 yen, compared with around 108.61 yen on Tuesday afternoon.

Oil prices slipped for a third day on Wednesday as a surge in US stockpiles reinforced concerns about lacklustre global economic growth, while hopes ebbed for any movement on the US-China trade war.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock average fell on Wednesday on worries over the progress of trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

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