TOKYO: Japanese rubber futures slid on Thursday as the Omicron coronavirus variant heightened fears over a slowdown of global economic recovery and demand for the material while plunging Shanghai futures also dented market sentiment.
Osaka Exchange’s rubber contract for May delivery finished down 2.3 yen, or 0.9%, at 243.6 yen ($2.2) per kg.
Much remains unknown about the new variant, which was first found on Nov. 8 in South Africa and has spread to at least two dozen countries.
Fears over the impact of the Omicron increased on Thursday after the first case was reported in the United States while the Japanese central bank warned of economic pain as countries respond with tighter containment measures.
The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for May delivery plunged 350 yuan to finish at 14,745 yuan ($2,313) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for January delivery last traded at 173 U.S. cents per kg, down 3.3%.