RUBBER-Tokyo futures inch down on stronger yen


TOKYO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Key TOCOM rubber futures fell totheir lowest in nearly a week on Monday as the yen strengthened,with traders looking to U.S. payrolls data the next day forclues on the outlook for the global economy.


* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for Marchdelivery was changing hands 1.2 yen lower at266.2 yen as of 0207 GMT. The benchmark contract earlier droppedto its lowest since Oct. 15 at 263.1 yen.

* The dollar was on the defensive against the yen on Monday,trading at 97.86 yen, off last week's high of 99.00 yen.

A stronger yen makes yen-denominated assets more expensivewhen purchased in other currencies.

* Rubber inventories in warehouses monitored by the ShanghaiFutures Exchange rose 9.0 percent from the week before, theexchange said on Friday.

* Crude rubber inventories at Japanese ports stood at 4,386tonnes as of Oct. 10, falling to their lowest level sincehitting 4,144 tonnes on Aug. 31, 2010, data from the RubberTrade Association of Japan showed on Friday.

* U.S. September payrolls numbers, expected two weeks ago,will be released on Tuesday to start a flow of economic datadelayed because of the 16-day government shutdown that ended onThursday.

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* The S&P 500 closed at a record high for the secondstraight day on Friday to cap its biggest weekly gain in threemonths as stronger-than-expected earnings from Google, MorganStanley and others overshadowed worry that earnings growth wasfaltering.

* U.S. crude futures stood little changed near $101 a barrelon Monday after a slight gain in the previous session, as thedollar steadied against the euro and the market awaited therelease of U.S. government oil data.

* Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.8 percent.


* The following data is expected on Monday: (Time in GMT)

- 2350 Japan Sept trade data

- 1400 U.S. existing home sales Sept

- 1430 U.S. EIA weekly oil data weekly (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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