TOKYO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Key TOCOM rubber futures fell to their lowest in nearly a week on Monday as the yen strengthened, with traders looking to U.S. payrolls data the next day for clues on the outlook for the global economy.
* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for March delivery <0#2JRU:> was changing hands 1.2 yen lower at 266.2 yen as of 0207 GMT. The benchmark contract earlier dropped to 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 expensive when purchased in other currencies.
* Rubber inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 9.0 percent from the week before, the exchange said on Friday.
* Crude rubber inventories at Japanese ports stood at 4,386 tonnes as of Oct. 10, falling to their lowest level since hitting 4,144 tonnes on Aug. 31, 2010, data from the Rubber Trade 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 data delayed because of the 16-day government shutdown that ended on Thursday.
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* The S&P 500 closed at a record high for the second straight day on Friday to cap its biggest weekly gain in three months as stronger-than-expected earnings from Google, Morgan Stanley and others overshadowed worry that earnings growth was faltering.
* U.S. crude futures stood little changed near $101 a barrel on Monday after a slight gain in the previous session, as the dollar steadied against the euro and the market awaited the release 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)