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Tokyo rubber futures rebound on oil rally and weaker yen

TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Benchmark TOCOM rubber futures bounced back on Thursday as investors covered short positions, backed by a rally in crude oil prices after Iran’s support for an oil output cap and a weaker yen against the U.S.dollar.

FUNDAMENTALS

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for July delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: was up 1.5 yen, or 1.0 percent, at 154.1 yen per kg as of 0041 GMT, after dropping 0.9 percent the previous day. RUB/T

Federal Reserve policymakers worried last month that tighter global financial conditions could hit the U.S.economy and considered changing their planned path of interest rate hikes in 2016.

Iran on Wednesday stopped short of offering to restrain oil output as part of a global pact to freeze production to prop up prices, making clear it wants to recapture the market share it lost during years of sanctions.

MARKET NEWS

U.S.crude futures rose as much as 3 percent in early Asian trade on Thursday after Iran backed plans by Russia and Saudi Arabia to cap crude oil production at January levels, extending steep gains in the previous session.

The U.S. dollar was quoted around 114.05 yen JPY= early Thursday trade. It fell below 114 yen the previous day after minutes of the Fed meeting in January showed the central bank’s concern that global economic developments could pose a risk to the U.S.economic outlook.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average (XC0009692440) surged 2.5 percent in Thursday trade as crude oil prices extended gains on hopes that big producers will cap production, improving investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

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

0130 China Consumer prices Jan

0130 China Producer prices Jan

0900 Euro zone Current account Dec

1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims

1330 U.S. Philly Fed business index Feb

1500 U.S. Leading index Jan
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Michael Perry)

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