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Tokyo futures fall for 4th day, head for worst week since May

TOKYO, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Key TOCOM rubber futures dropped for a fourth day on Friday, on track for their biggest weekly drop in more than nine months, as prices were pressured by a stronger yen and worries over the health of the U.S. and euro zone economies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for July delivery <0#2JRU:> was changing hands 1.7 yen lower at 295.8 yen as of 0043 GMT. The benchmark contract fell as low as 294.0 yen, holding near a two-month low of 292.7 hit a day earlier.

* Prices were headed for a steep 8 percent fall this week, biggest such drop since May last year.

* TOCOM rubber touched a 10-month high on Feb. 6, as the yen slumped to a 33-month low against the dollar, but the contract now stood more than 12 percent lower than that peak.

* Worries over global economic growth also put some pressure. In Europe, business activity indexes dealt a blow to hopes that the euro zone might emerge from recession soon, showing the downturn across the region’s businesses unexpectedly grew worse this month.

* U.S. initial claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week while the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its index of business conditions in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region fell in February to the lowest in eight months.

TOCOM Rubber Futures Prices on February 22, 2013 (yen / kilogram )

Month

Last Settlement Price

Open

High

Low

Current

Change

Volume

Feb 2013

281.0

278.0

286.0

277.5

281.5

+0.5

192

Mar 2013

281.0

279.7

282.7

279.7

280.4

-0.6

14

Apr 2013

284.7

284.0

286.7

282.0

285.2

+0.5

24

May 2013

289.8

288.9

291.9

286.7

290.0

+0.2

140

Jun 2013

293.3

294.1

295.5

291.5

294.5

+1.2

577

Jul 2013

297.5

297.3

298.5

294.0

297.4

-0.1

3,692

Total

 

4,639

MARKET NEWS

* U.S. stocks fell for a second straight day on Thursday and the S&P 500 posted its worst two-day loss since November after reports cast doubt over the health of the U.S. and euro zone economies.

* The dollar bustled near a 5-1/2-month high against a basket of currencies on Friday, on doubts over just how long the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep its quantitative easing in place.

* U.S. crude futures edged up on Friday after two days of steep losses that pushed down prices to six-week lows in the previous session amid concern that the Federal Reserve might scale back its stimulus efforts.

* Japan’s Nikkei share average fell for a second day on Friday after Wall Street weakened on worries about the U.S. and euro zone economies, with investors waiting to see if the United States backs Japan’s plans to revive its economy.

DATA EVENTS

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

– 0130 China Housing prices

– 0700 Germany Detailed Q4 GDP

– 0900 Germany Ifo business climate

– 1000 Italy Consumer confidence (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Source: Reuters

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