TOKYO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Key TOCOM rubber futures inched up in light early trade on Friday, mirroring limited moves by the yen and Nikkei, but prices were headed for their second weekly fall out of three.
* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for March delivery <0#2JRU:> was up 0.1 yen, or 0.04 percent, at 277.8 yen as of 0035 GMT.
* Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell for the third straight month in August but fewer Americans filed new claims for jobless benefits last week, giving conflicting signals on the health of the economy.
* China will allow banks to price loans based on market-based benchmark rates and will allow banks to launch certificates of deposit soon to pave the way for liberalising bank deposit rates, the central bank said on Thursday.
* Nine companies based in Japan and two executives have agreed to plead guilty and to pay almost $745 million in fines for their roles in long-running conspiracies to fix the prices of auto parts sold to U.S. car manufacturers, the Department of Justice said on Thursday.
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* The S&P 500 and Dow snapped five-day losing streaks on Thursday on positive job market data but gains were limited as investors worried if Washington lawmakers would pass bills to avoid a government shutdown and possible U.S. debt default on time.
* The dollar held onto modest overnight gains in Asia on Friday but was on track to end the week flat, hampered by the threat of a historic U.S. debt default hanging in the air and lack of clarity over when the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus.
* Oil prices firmed on Thursday in light trading, despite easing political worries and an improving supply picture, as traders sought bargains after sharp losses earlier this month.
* Japan's benchmark Nikkei average were up 0.02 percent at 14,802.52 in early trade on Friday, while the broader Topix was also flat.
* The following data is expected on Friday: (Time in GMT)
- 0645 France Consumer spending
- 0800 Italy Business confidence
- 0900 Euro zone Economic sentiment
- 1200 Germany Consumer inflation
- 1230 U.S.
Personal income (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Ed Davies)