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Tokyo rubber hits 4-1/2 month high

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures edged higher on Friday, hitting an over 4-1/2-month high, as strong tyre demand for trucks in China supported Shanghai futures and amid concerns over spreading fungal disease in Thailand.

TOCOM's rubber contract for April delivery finished 0.3 yen higher at 187.0 yen ($1.72) per kg, after hitting the highest since July 2 of 190.4 yen earlier in the session. For the week, it rose 2.7% and marked a seventh straight weekly gain.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery rose 75 yuan to finish at 12,625 yuan ($1,795) per tonne. China's new technically specified rubber (TSR) 20 futures contract was last up 100 yuan at 10,755 yuan per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for December delivery last traded at 141.6 US cents per kg, up 0.4%.

“Behind the recent rally were strong tyre demand for trucks in China ahead of tighter environmental regulation starting from next year," said Hideshi Matsunaga, analyst at Sunward Trading.