RUBBER-TOCOM futures dip on profit taking, but up 5 pct for wk

Reuters

TOKYO, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Benchmark Tokyo rubber futuresdipped on Friday as investors took profits, but the contractstill posted a weekly gain of 5 percent on the back of strongerJapanese equities and protests in top producer and exporterThailand.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tonefor tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, also got support froma weakening yen, as the dollar rose against the Japanesecurrency following solid U.S. data.

The key TOCOM rubber contract for February delivery edged down 0.9 yen to settle at 282.7 yen per kg, but even withthe dip, the contract was still up 13.6 yen on the week.

"TOCOM rubber futures were supported this week by theNikkei's rise on the possibility of Tokyo winning the 2020Olympic games and the production problems in Thailand," said GuJiong, an analyst at Yutaka Shoji Co, adding Friday's dip camefrom investors taking profits.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 1.5 percent onFriday, snapping a four-day winning streak, as investors optedto book profits from the recent rally in real estate andconstruction firms ahead of the decision this weekend if Tokyowill host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The support line for rubber futures was 280 yen, Jiong said,but if Tokyo was to lose its Olympics bid, he said the pricecould go to 270 yen or lower.

Thailand faced pressure on Friday to end a two-week protestby rubber farmers after violent overnight clashes between riotpolice and protesters demanding greater state support.

The U.S. dollar was quoted around 99.63 yen inafternoon Asian trade, after the dollar hit a six-week high of100.24 yen in early trade before cautious Japanese exporterstook that opportunity to convert dollars to yen.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futuresexchange for January delivery edged up 0.8 percent to20,810 yuan per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOMexchange for October delivery last traded at 249.50 U.S.cents per kg, or 0.10 cents higher. (Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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