TOKYO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Benchmark TOCOM rubber futures fell on Thursday as the stronger yen and geopolitical tensions in Syria pressured the contract which sets the tone for Southeast Asian tyre rubber prices.
* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for February delivery was down 3.0 yen at 274.9 yen per kg at 0036 GMT, after settling 0.9 yen lower on Tuesday.
* The U.S. dollar was quoted around 97.18 yen in early Asian trade, down from a high around 98.54 yen on Monday, as the geopolitical uncertainty in Syria prompted investors to pile into the safe-haven Japanese currency.
A strong yen makes yen-denominated assets more expensive when purchased in other currencies.
* The United States and its allies geared up for a likely military strike against Syria that could come within days and would be the most aggressive action by the West in the Middle Eastern nation’s two-and-a-half-year civil war.
* The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co said late on Tuesday it has reached an agreement with its labour union that allows it to freeze its defined benefit pension plans, reduce staffing and keep wages and benefits in line with a prior agreement.
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* Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average dropped 1.95 percent in early Wednesday trade, with exporters leading the declines as the stronger yen hurt sentiment for the companies that support Japan’s export-reliant economy.
* The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index ended 0.9 percent higher on Tuesday as higher crude oil, gasoline and precious metals prices outweighed losses in grains and other agricultural commodities.
* The following data is expected on Wednesday: (Time in GMT)
0600 Germany Gfk consumer sentiment
0600 Germany Import prices
0800 Euro zone M3 money supply
1400 U.S. Pending home sales
1430 U.S. EIA weekly crude stocks