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RUBBER-Tokyo futures slip on stronger yen, weaker oil prices

TOKYO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Tokyo rubber futures slid below 280 yen per kg on Tuesday, after an over 4 percent gain last week, as a stronger yen and weaker oil prices over the three-day weekend in Japan prompted sell orders.


FUNDAMENTALS

* The benchmark Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for February delivery <0#2JRU:> was down 1.55 percent at 279.5 yen per kg by 0110 GMT. The Tokyo market was closed on Monday for a national holiday.

The contract posted a weekly rise of 4.4 percent last week although it dipped on profit-taking on Friday.

* The dollar was quoted around 98.85 yen in Asia, down from Friday's high of 99.67 yen and Monday's high of 99.36 yen, as dovish comments from an influential Federal Reserve official kept the dollar on a leash.

A stronger yen makes dollar-based rubber cheaper and normally encourages players to sell rubber contracts to cut losses.

* U.S. crude futures fell for a fourth session on Tuesday as higher crude output from Iraq and a possible thaw in U.S.-Iran relations improved the supply outlook, offseting solid economic data from China and Europe.

* Crude rubber inventories at Japanese ports stood at 4,613 tonnes as of Sept. 10, falling to the lowest since 4,144 tonnes on Aug. 31, 2010, data from the Rubber Trade Association of Japan showed on Tuesday.

* China's factory sector grew at its fastest pace in six months in September, a preliminary survey showed on Monday, adding momentum to a tentative turnaround in the world's second-largest economy since the middle of the year.

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MARKET NEWS

* Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock average was down about 0.5 percent in early Tuesday trade, as nagging uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's policy stance offset an election triumph for German leader Angela Merkel and upbeat euro zone and Chinese data.

* Commodity markets traded mixed on Monday, with supply increases hitting oil prices, demand increases lifting grains and metals down modestly on uncertainty about when the Fed will decide to reduce economic stimulus.


DATA EVENTS

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

0800 Germany Ifo business climate

1145 U.S.

ICSC weekly chain store sales

1300 U.S.

S&P-CaseShiller housing index

1300 U.S.

FHFA home price index

1400 U.S.

Consumer confidence (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Michael Urquhart)