TOCOM ends at 6-year low on oil, China woes

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TOKYO (Sept 3): Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures settled down 1.2% at their lowest in more than six years on Thursday, erasing early gains on lingering concerns over weaker oil prices and a sluggish Chinese economy.

Trading in Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, was largely quiet as market participants kept to the sidelines, with Chinese markets closed on Thursday and Friday.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for February delivery finished 2.1 yen lower at 167 yen per kg, the lowest since July 2009. It also fell to as much as 166.7 during the session, near a six-year low of 165.1 hit on Aug 25.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock average ended up 0.5%, paring early gains, which also weighed on rubber prices, sources said.

"The market responded to a paring of strong Nikkei gains," a source with a Tokyo-based dealer said, adding that the market could come under further pressure amid a lack of support.

The U.S. dollar was quoted around 120.43 yen, having rebounded from overnight, as global investors tentatively stepped back into equities, tempering demand for the Japanese currency.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for October delivery last traded at 122 U.S. cents per kg, down 1.7 cent.