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Tokyo futures firm on weaker yen, but still near 2-mth low

TOKYO, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Key TOCOM rubber futures firmed on Monday after the yen fell on reports Japan is likely to nominate an advocate of aggressive monetary easing as its next central bank chief.

But rubber stayed near a two-month low hit last week amid worries over the health of the U.S. and euro zone economies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract, for July delivery <0#2JRU:>, was changing hands 1.1 yen higher at 298.2 yen per kg as of 0013 GMT, paring losses from a four-day downturn.

* The newly listed August contract is expected to take over the market’s benchmark status later in the day.

* The TOCOM market last week fell as far as 292.7 yen, the lowest since Dec. 26 and down 13.4 percent from a 10-month high of 337.8 yen marked on Feb. 6.

* A weaker yen versus the dollar in theory inflates yen-denominated TOCOM prices as rubber is traded in dollars in producing countries, and often invites speculative buying here.

* On Friday, the nearby February contract expired at 285.9 yen, with deliveries totalling 511 lots of 5 tonnes each.

* Volkswagen has scaled back its forecast for another record year in 2013, a sign that Europe’s biggest carmaker is beginning to feel the impact of Europe’s shrinking auto markets.

TOCOM Rubber Futures Prices on February 25, 2013 (yen / kilogram)

Month

Last Settlement Price

Open

High

Low

Current

Change

Volume

Mar 2013

282.2

280.6

281.5

279.8

280.0

-2.2

111

Apr 2013

286.3

285.4

288.0

284.3

285.0

-1.3

107

May 2013

290.3

289.3

292.2

286.7

288.3

-2.0

88

Jun 2013

294.0

294.4

296.3

292.0

293.7

-0.3

418

Jul 2013

297.1

297.2

299.7

294.6

296.2

-0.9

3,482

Aug 2013

301.0

302.1

297.4

299.1

1,689

Total

 

5,895

MARKET NEWS

* The yen skidded to a 33-month low on Monday on reports Japan is likely to nominate Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda as the new Bank of Japan chief.

* Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average rose 2.02 percent to 11,615.78 on Monday.

DATA EVENTS

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

0145 China HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI

1330 U.S. National activity index

1530 U.S. Dallas Fed Manufacturing index

(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Source: Reuters

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