TOKYO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Benchmark TOCOM rubber futures held steady on Thursday as traders caught their breath after a steep run-up in prices early in the week pushed the contract to a three-month high before easing as investors took profits.
* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for February delivery <0#2JRU:> was unchanged at 281.4 yen per kg at 0040 GMT, after settling 2.9 yen lower on Wednesday.
The contract hit 287.9 yen during trade on Wednesday, its highest level since May 23, driven up by a weaker yen. The contract is currently 4.6 percent higher for the week.
* The Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy steady on Thursday and renew its call for the government to proceed with a planned sales tax hike, encouraged by growing signs the economy is improving.
* U.S. vehicle sales rose 17 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.1 million units, marking the fastest pace since October 2007 and above the 15.8 million-unit rate analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected.
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* The U.S. dollar was quoted around 99.70 yen in early Asian trade, with the greenback up slightly, but investors booking profits on recent gains limited the rise.
* Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock average dipped 0.1 percent in early Thursday trade, as investors locked in profits after the recent run up in equities prices.
* The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index closed 0.8 percent lower on Wednesday in part as oil and gold prices dropped on uncertainties about the timing of a U.S. military strike on Syria.
* The following data is expected on Thursday: (Time in GMT)
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