SINGAPORE: Japanese rubber futures fell on Thursday, as wild swings in the banking sector this week reduced risk appetite among investors, and a firmer yen made the commodity less affordable for buyers holding other currencies.

The Osaka Exchange (OSE) rubber contract for August delivery was down 4.0 yen, or 1.8%, at 209.7 yen ($1.58) per kg as of 0203 GMT. The rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange (SHFE) for May delivery was down 325 yuan, or 2.67%, at 11,685 yuan ($1,694.46) per tonne.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average opened down 1.59%. Japan posted two straight years of export gains, led by solid US-bound shipments of cars, although expectations of a strong recovery in demand are quickly fading amid global monetary tightening and worries about banks worldwide.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.23% to 133.11 per dollar as of 0204 GMT. A stronger yen makes yen-denominated assets less affordable when purchased in other currencies.

Asian stocks tumbled on Thursday, and investors bought gold, bonds and the dollar as fresh troubles at Credit Suisse reignited the fear of a banking crisis, leaving markets on edge ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later in the day. Oil prices rose in early Asian trade on Thursday, clawing back some ground from the more than one-year lows hit in the previous session as markets calmed somewhat after Credit Suisse was thrown a financial lifeline by Swiss regulators.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore Exchange’s SICOM platform for April delivery last traded at 129.8 US cents per kg, down 2%.—Reuters