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Tokyo rubber futures dip on firmer yen in slow pre-holiday trade

TOKYO, April 26 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures fell slightly on Friday, although eking out a small gain for the week, under pressure from a rise in the yen versus the dollar as trade slowed ahead of a series of holidays next week in Japan and China.

The dollar, pressured against the yen throughout the session by profit-taking and yen-buying by Japanese exporters, dipped slightly after the Bank of Japan left policy unchanged as expected.

The benchmark TOCOM rubber contract for October delivery settled at 257.1 yen ($2.60) per kg, down 2.0 yen or 0.8 percent from the previous close. The contract earlier rose as high as 265.3 yen, the highest level since April 15, before reversing the gains to close lower.

On the week, the TOCOM market was up 1.5 percent.

“The yen gained some ground, and oil and equity prices fell. These put a weight on rubber prices,” said Toshitaka Tazawa, an analyst at Japanese brokerage Fujitomi Co.

“I don’t expect to see any big price movement in rubber next week as people will come back only after the Golden Week is over in the second week of May,” he added.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) is closed on April 29 and May 3 for Golden Week holiday, and the Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed between April 29 and May 1 for Labour Day holiday.

In Shanghai, the most-active rubber contract for September delivery rose 15 yuan to 19,080 yuan ($3,100) per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for May delivery last traded at 250 U.S. cents per kg, up 4 cents.

($1 = 6.1707 Chinese yuan)

($1 = 99.4900 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Risa Maeda; editing by Jane Baird)

SOurce: Reuters

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