RUBBER-Tokyo futures end at 3-month high on weaker yen


TOKYO, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Tokyo rubber futures bounced backto end at a 3-month high on Monday on a weaker yen and a rise inNikkei share prices, and after strong factory activity data inChina, the world's biggest rubber consumer, boosted investorsentiment, dealers said.

The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo CommodityExchange for February delivery soared 9.4 yen,or 3.49 percent, to settle at 278.5 yen ($2.84) per kg, thehighest close since May 22.

The contract, which rebounded after three straight sessionsof falls, rose as much as 3.7 percent to an intra-day high of279.1 yen, a one-week high.

"A jump in Shanghai rubber market on China's bullishpurchasing managers' index (PMI), announced on Sunday, helpedboost TOCOM prices in the morning although HSBC PMI was not asstrong as the official manufacturing PMI," said Kazuhiko Saito,chief analyst at Fujitomi Co.

China's factory activity expanded at its fastest pace inmore than a year in August with a jump in new orders, officialdata showed on Sunday, raising hopes that a rapid economicslowdown in the world's second-largest economy may have beenarrested.

A separate manufacturing PMI report from HSBC, released onMonday, showed activity in privately-owned factories increasedover August for the first time in four months.

"In the afternoon, the yen's decline and the Nikkei stockprice's gain gave another boost," Fujitomi's Saito said.

The safe-haven yen fell against the dollar to aone-month low on Monday as worries about a military strikeagainst Syria weakened the yen. The Nikkei average rose1.4 percent.

A weaker yen makes TOCOM rubber more appealing to holders ofother currencies.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futuresexchange for January delivery jumped 4.99 percent tosettle at 21,055 yuan ($3,400) per tonne, the highest intradaysince May 22.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOMexchange for October delivery last traded at 247.00 U.S.cents per kg, up 6.4 cents.

A prolonged protest by rubber farmers in Thailand's southernNakhon Si Thammarat province has disrupted distribution systemsand delayed thousands of tonnes of prompt Thai rubber shipmentsfor up to two weeks, exporters said on Monday.

But the shipment delays have had little impact on spotphysical prices so far. ($1 = 98.1150 Japanese yen)($1 = 6.1195 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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