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SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures slid to an eight-week low on Thursday, weighed down by a weaker Nikkei, while lower crude prices discouraged a switch to natural rubber from synthetic rubber, which is derived from oil.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for October delivery finished down 4.7 yen, or 1.9%, at 244.4 yen ($1.90) per kg, after hitting the lowest since March 17 of 243.5 yen earlier in the session.

While lower Tokyo equity markets and oil prices dragged down OSE prices, losses were limited by tight raw material output from Thailand due to heavy rains, which affected tapping, a Singapore-based trader said.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average fell 1.8% to its lowest in almost two months as technology heavyweights tracked a sharp overnight decline on Wall Street.

Oil prices dropped more than 1% on Thursday in a volatile week as economic concerns and recession fears dogged global financial markets, outweighing supply concerns and geopolitical tensions in Europe.

The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery was down 20 yuan to finish at 12,730 yuan ($1,878.52) per tonne. Shanghai authorities combed the city on Thursday for its last COVID-19 cases in the hope of clearing the way for an exit from a painful six-week lockdown, while Beijing curbed taxi services to keep a lid on its smaller outbreak.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for June delivery last traded at 158.5 US cents per kg, down 0.9%.

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