#Rubber* Tokyo futures fall, but post third week of gains

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TOKYO (June 27): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures fell 2.1 percent on Friday, driven lower by a stronger yen, but the market posted a third week of gains amid hopes of economic recovery in China, brokers said.

The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) for December delivery fell 4.6 yen to settle at 215 yen ($2.12) per kg, but rose 1.1 percent for the week.

After touching a near-five-year low earlier this month, the benchmark contract has recovered more than 11 percent over the past three weeks, aided by higher crude oil prices and improving economic data from top buyer China.

The yen was hovering near a one-month high of 101.39 against the dollar, following disappointing U.S. consumer spending data.

"The fall was largely due to a stronger yen," said Kaname Gokon, general manager of research at brokerage Okato Shoji in Tokyo.

"The rise in deliveries of TOCOM rubber for June contract was behind the recent strong gains. I do not know the reasons behind that, but the more the deliveries, the higher the market."

There were 4,390 tonnes worth of deliveries for the June contract earlier this week, more than triple that for the May contract the month before.

Rubber supply from Thailand, the world biggest producer, was hit by unseasonable rains, pushing prices higher, but demand remained thin with major tyremakers waiting to buy on a dip in prices, traders said.

Activity in China's factory sector expanded in June for the first time in six months as new orders surged, a survey showed earlier this week, offering new signs the economy is stabilising thanks to Beijing's measures to shore up growth.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery fell 160 yuan to finish at 15,140 yuan ($2,400) per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for July delivery last traded at 176.50 U.S. cents per kg, down 2.7 cents. ($1 = 101.3700 Japanese Yen) ($1 = 6.2161 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)