RUBBER-Tokyo futures edge up, hold below 10-month high

Reuters

TOKYO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Key TOCOM rubber futures edged upon Wednesday, though investors were watching a volatile yen andprices could struggle to top a 10-month high hit last week, withtrade thinned by the closure of top buyer China for the LunarNew Year holiday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contractfor July delivery was trading at 332.4 yen perkg as of 0038 GMT, up 0.8 yen or 0.2 percent from the previousclose.

* Last week, a fall in the yen versus the dollar helped thecontract rise as far as 337.8 yen, the highest for any benchmarksince late March 2012.

* The dollar stayed above an earlier low of around 93.27 yen after cautious comments from an official from the Groupof Seven over excessive movements in Japan's currency dragged itdown from a near 33-month high of 94.41.

* There was bound to be volatility in the Japanese currencyin the run-up to the Feb 15-16 G20 meeting given itsbreathtaking decline had drawn criticism from some of Japan'sinternational peers. The outcome of the Bank of Japan's policymeeting due on Thursday is also awaited.

* Markets in China are closed this week for the Lunar NewYear holiday.

* Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co posted astronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday but cut its2013 forecast due to weakness in the European automotive market.

* For the top stories in the rubber market and other news,click, or

MARKET NEWS

* The TOCOM market on Tuesday successfully started tradingof soybean, corn, red bean and raw sugar futures contracts.Japan's biggest commodity exchange took over the four contractsas scheduled from the Tokyo Grain Exchange, which is officiallyclosed later this year.

* Japan's Nikkei share average edged lower on Wednesday as apause in the yen's decline triggered profit-taking on stocksthat have gained sharply such as exporters.

* Oil prices rose on Tuesday after the U.S. EnergyInformation Administration (EIA) said world oil demand wouldincrease faster than previously expected in 2013 and OPEC raisedits outlook for the amount of crude it will need to pump thisyear.

DATA EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Wednesday: (GMT)

0700 Germany Wholesale price index

1000 Euro zone Industrial production

1200 U.S.

Weekly mortgage market index

1330 U.S.

Import prices

1330 U.S.

Export prices

1330 U.S.

Retail sales

1500 U.S.

Business inventories

1530 U.S.

EIA petroleum status report

n.a. India Jan trade data

(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Ed Davies)

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