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Japan's rubber recovers

Japanese rubber futures jumped on Thursday as investors looked for bargains after the prices hit a two-week low earlier in the session, and amid hopes for a quick recovery in demand from top buyer China. Osaka Exchange's (OSE) rubber contract for February delivery finished up 4.5 yen, or 2.6%, at 180.5 yen ($1.70) per kg, after hitting 175.6 yen earlier in the session, its lowest since Aug. 25.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for January delivery fell 40 yuan to finish at 12,200 yuan ($1,784) per tonne. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for September delivery last traded at 132.4 US cents per kg, up 0.7%.

"The OSE's near-term contracts surged as some investors unwound short positions, which helped boost the benchmark contract," Toshitaka Tazawa, an analyst at commodities broker Fujitomi Co said.

"Firmer Tokyo equities also buoyed risk appetite," he said, adding that optimism of demand recovery in top buyer China also provided support.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock average ended higher on Thursday as better-than-expected machinery orders data and Wall Street's rebound from a three-day losing streak bolstered investor sentiment.

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