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Tokyo rubber futures firm but capped by demand woes (May 31)

TOKYO, May 31 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures rose slightly on Friday in a technical rebound a day after hitting a 3-week low yet fell 4.6 percent on the week hurt by a firming yen and growing uncertainty over demand.

The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) for November delivery rose 1.4 yen to settle at 258.4 yen ($2.56) per kg.

The contract fell to 257.0 yen on Thursday, the lowest intraday price since May 7, as a drop to a five-week low of the Nikkei share average fuelled views of worsening demand outlook and triggered selling by funds.

The TOCOM market lost 1.6 percent in May, marking a fourth month of decline, after gains partly driven by a weakening yen were capped at 299 yen on May 13.

“The market has a chance to test the recent low hit in April,” said Satoru Yoshida, commodity analyst at Dot Commodity, referring to a five-month low of 242.6 yen.

“It would depend on the strength of the Tokyo stock market. We should be prepared to volatility in prices because the market already moved almost 50 yen this month,” he added.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery fell 20 yuan to 18,740 yuan ($3,100) per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for June delivery last traded at 242.50 U.S. cents per kg, up 0.3 cents.

($1 = 6.1309 Chinese yuan)

($1 = 100.9250 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Risa Maeda; editing by Jason Neely)

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