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TOKYO: Japanese rubber futures dropped to a nearly two-month low on Friday as concerns over resurgence in COVID-19 cases locally and in other Asian countries weighed on market sentiment, putting it on track for a weekly loss.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for September delivery was down 4.2yen, or 1.7%, at 240.5 yen ($2.2) per kg by 0123 GMT, after touching the lowest since Feb. 15 of 238.4 yen earlier in the session. The contract was headed for a weekly loss of more than 4%.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery was down 160 yuan at 13,965 yuan ($2,132) per tonne on Friday.

Japan aims to place Tokyo under a new, month-long “quasi-emergency” state to combat surging COVID-19 case numbers, a minister said on Friday, less than a month after the capital and host of the Summer Olympics lifted a broader state of emergency.

India, South Korea and Thailand faced mounting coronavirus infections on Thursday, undermining cautious hopes that Asia might be emerging from the worst of the pandemic as worries about safety threatened to delay vaccination drives.

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