RUBBER-Tokyo futures rally after U.S. Fed sticks to stimulus

TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Key TOCOM rubber futures jumped nearly 3 percent to a 10-day high on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised markets by postponing a scale-back of its monetary stimulus.


FUNDAMENTALS

* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for February delivery <0#2JRU:> was up 8.1 yen, or 2.92 percent, at 285.9 yen as of 0041 GMT. The benchmark rose as high as 287.0 yen in early trade, the highest since Sept. 9.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve defied investor expectations on Wednesday by postponing the start of the wind down of its massive monetary stimulus, saying it wanted to wait for more evidence of solid economic growth.

* A drop in farmer prices and increased taxes risk stifling development of Ivory Coast's rubber sector and encouraging smuggling to neighbouring West African countries, the country's natural rubber association said on Wednesday.

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


MARKET NEWS

* The dollar languished at a seven-month low against a basket of major currencies in Asia on Thursday after the Federal Reserve wrong footed many investors who had positioned for a scaling back in its massive stimulus program. The dollar was quoted around 98.10 yen by 0040 GMT.

* Japan's Nikkei share average climbed about 0.8 percent in early trade on Thursday after U.S. stocks rallied to record highs on Wednesday on surprised decision by the Fed.

* Crude oil futures settled sharply higher on Wednesday, surging late in the session after the U.S. Fed said it would leave its monetary stimulus program unchanged, a policy largely seen as supporting commodity prices.


DATA EVENTS

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

- 1230 U.S.

Weekly jobless claims

- 1230 U.S.

Q2 current account

- 1400 U.S.

Philly Fed business index

- 1400 U.S.

Existing home sales (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Richard Pullin)