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Oil report

Tokyo rubber falls 1 pct as fund selling continues

TOKYO, July 15 (Reuters) - Tokyo rubber futures reversed early gains to fall 1 percent on Tuesday as investment funds continued to lock in profits from a recent oil-led rally.

* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for December delivery <0#JRU:> ended the morning session down 3.5 yen at 338.0 yen per kg. It moved between 337.2 and 342.3 yen.

* The December contract’s fall below a Monday low of 339.7 yen triggered another round of selling. On Friday, fund buying had helped the contract to break above 346 yen, up more than 4 percent from a four-week trough of 332.7 yen hit on July 9.

* U.S. crude oil CLc1 retreated to around $145 a barrel on Tuesday after hitting a record high above $147 on Friday on supply concerns.

* Given prospects for dollar weakness, investors are nervous after an initial sell-off the previous day. A stronger yen versus the dollar weighs on yen-based commodities futures prices.

* The U.S. government announcement on Sunday of an emergency plan to support the struggling two top mortgage lenders underscored the severity of e the U.S. credit market problems.

* The dollar fell 0.2 percent to 105.90 yen JPY=, moving away from Monday's high of 106.81 yen.

* Growing prospects of more physical rubber supplies also put a lid on the Tokyo market. But traders in producing countries said demand was strong from users including those in China and the Middle East.

* “The weather has improved. But demand for raw materials is strong and prices are on hold,” said a Thai trader.

PRICES OF ASIAN PHYSICAL RUBBER COMPARED WITH MONDAY

Grade Price Change

Thai RSS3 (August) $3.25/kg +$0.03

Thai RSS3 (Sept) $3.25/kg +$0.03

Thai STR20 (August) $3.23/kg +$0.03

Thai STR20 (Sept) $3.23/kg +$0.03

Malaysia SMR20 (August) $3.23/kg +$0.03

Malaysia SMR20 (Sept) $3.23/kg +$0.03

Indonesia SIR20 (August) $1.46/lb +$0.02

Indonesia SIR20 (Sept) $1.46/lb +$0.02

Thai USS3 102.5 baht/kg +0.5 bahts

Thai 60 percent latex (drums, Aug) $2,290/tonne -$10

Thai 60 percent latex (bulk, Aug) $2,170/tonne +$20 (Reporting by Risa Maeda)

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