TOKYO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Benchmark TOCOM rubber futures clawed back some of the previous day's losses on Thursday as the yen eased, but trade was kept in check ahead of economic data from top rubber buyer China later in the day.
* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for March delivery <0#2JRU:> was up 0.2 percent at 262.1 yen per kg by 0043 GMT, after settling 2.6 percent lower on Wednesday. Earlier in the session it traded at its lowest since Oct. 8 at 257.8 yen.
* The U.S. dollar was quoted around 97.47 yen in Asia, adding to overnight gains when the spike in China's short-term money-market interest rates raised concerns about Asia's largest economy, driving bids for currencies deemed as safe.
* Traders are waiting for the release of a preliminary survey on Chinese manufacturing activity data later on Thursday for clues on the health of the world's top rubber consumer.
* Top tyre maker Bridgestone Corp bought spot cargoes of Indonesian rubber for nearby shipments and Malaysian tyre grade was sold among trading houses, dealers said on Wednesday, but Chinese players stayed on the sidelines waiting for bargains.
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* Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock average was down 0.5 percent in early Thursday trade, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street.
* The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index fell 1 percent on Wednesday as U.S. crude oil dropped to its lowest in nearly four months, and most other commodities ended lower on outlooks for weaker demand.
* The following data is expected on Thursday: (Time in GMT)
0145 China HSBC Manufacturing Flash PMI
0658 France Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
0728 Germany Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
0758 Euro zone Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
1230 U.S. International trade
1258 U.S. Markit Manufacturing Flash PMI
1400 U.S. New home sales (Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Joseph Radford)