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Tokyo rubber futures rise to 2-week high on weaker yen

TOKYO, June 23 (Reuters) – Benchmark TOCOM rubber futures hit a two-week high on Thursday, helped by a weaker yen, but trade was light as investors cautiously await Britain’s vote on whether to stay in the European Union.

FUNDAMENTALS

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for November delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: was up 0.7 yen, or 0.5 percent, at 156.4 yen ($1.49) per kg as of 0034 GMT, after touching a high of 158.0 yen, the strongest since June 8.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and his eurosceptic opponents made final pitches for wavering voters on Wednesday on the eve of a defining referendum on European Union membership with the outcome still too close to call.

Sentiment at Asia’s biggest companies climbed to its highest in a year in the second quarter of 2016, helped by signs that China’s economy was slowly steadying, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey showed.

MARKET NEWS

The yen slipped 0.3 percent against the U.S. dollar to 104.41 yen JPY= early on Thursday, with the latest polls showing a slight tilt towards leaving the EU when Britons go to the polls.A weaker yen makes yen-denominated assets more affordable when purchased in other currencies.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average (XC0009692440) was up 0.4 percent in Thursday trade after Wall Street stocks dipped in low trading volume the previous day.

Oil prices settled down more than 1 percent on Wednesday after the U.S.government reported a smaller-than-expected inventory drawdown, and as investors fretted about Britain’s upcoming vote on whether to stay in the European Union.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

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

Britain holds referendum on membership in European Union

0700 France Markit manufacturing flash PMI Jun

0700 France Markit services flash PMI Jun

0730 Germany Markit manufacturing flash PMI Jun

0730 Germany Markit services flash PMI Jun

0800 Euro zone Markit manufacturing flash PMI Jun

0800 Euro zone Markit services flash PMI Jun

1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims

1230 U.S. National activity index May

1345 U.S. Markit manufacturing flash PMI Jun

1400 U.S. New home sales May

1400 U.S. Leading index May

 ($1 = 104.7000 yen)

 (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Ed Davies)

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