RUBBER-TOCOM futures slip, but still gain over 4 pct for week


TOKYO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Tokyo rubber futures dipped onFriday on profit-taking, but the contract still posted a weeklygain of 4.4 percent as the unexpected decision by the FederalReserve to continue its huge fiscal stimulus supported commoditymarkets.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tonefor tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, also got a boost fromthe weaker yen, as the dollar erased all of its losses followingthe surprise U.S. central bank judgement.

The key TOCOM rubber contract for February delivery edged down 0.5 percent to settle at 283.9 yen per kg, but evenwith the dip, the contract was still up 11.9 yen on the week.

"Today was mainly investors taking profits ahead of the longweekend, but a few reduced long positions ahead of HSBC'sannouncement," said Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at FujitomiCo.

HSBC is scheduled to announce its September Chinamanufacturing PMI on Monday and if the results are strong forthe world's top rubber consumer the contract could rise over 290yen, but if they are weak, prices could fall under 270 yen,Saito added.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 also fell on Friday, edgingdown 0.2 percent, as it stepped back from two-month highs asinvestors locked in profits on recent gainers before the Tokyo'sthree-day weekend.

The U.S. dollar was quoted around 99.28 yen inafternoon Asian trade, well off Wednesday's low of 97.76 yen.

The Shanghai rubber market was shut on Friday for theMid-Autumn Festival public holiday.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOMexchange for October delivery last traded at 242.20 U.S.cents per kg, or 3.10 cents lower. (Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Anand Basu)

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