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Oil Report

Tokyo rubber up more than 1 pct on firm oil

TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) - Tokyo rubber futures climbed more than 1 percent to briefly touch 333 yen on Friday, helped by firmer crude oil prices and strong physical rubber prices.

* Some traders warned, however, that the rubber futures market may be losing some of the upward momentum that lifted it to a 28-year high of 356.9 yen on June 30.

* A Tokyo-based trader noted that funds, which have been instrumental in pushing a range of commodities to record-high levels, were keeping a low profile in the commodities market.

* “The mood of the market has turned a bit weak as it heads into August ... which is usually not a very active month,” he said.

* He said many traders took summer breaks in August, and were disinclined to take actives position.

* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for December delivery <0#JRU:> was at 332 yen per kg at 0435 GMT, up 2.7 yen, or 0.8 percent, after moving between 327.1 yen and 333.0 yen.

* On Thursday, the key contract touched an intraday low of 323.1 yen -- the lowest for a benchmark since June 5.

* The front-month July contract expired at 337.2 yen, with 116 lots or 580 tonnes of deliveries.

* Physical rubber traders said they were starting to see more supplies in the physical market, but not enough to erase worries about a supply shortage, helping to keep prices firm.

* China, the world’s top rubber-consuming country, was expected to step in shortly to buy more aggressively due to falling inventories, helping to lift Asian physical prices, which in turn would help support futures prices.

* Rubber latex concentrate prices softened, however, due to weaker demand from Malaysia, the world’s largest producer of rubber gloves, a trader based in Thailand said.

* U.S. light crude CLc1 was trading around $126 a barrel on Friday after short-covering a day earlier helped stem a nearly two-week dive. Prices, however, are down significantly from the record peak above $147 set earlier this month.

PRICES OF ASIAN PHYSICAL RUBBER COMPARED WITH THURSDAY

Grade Price Change

Thai RSS3 (August) $3.20/kg unchanged

Thai RSS3 (Sept) $3.20/kg unchanged

Thai STR20 (August) $3.20/kg unchanged

Thai STR20 (Sept) $3.20/kg unchanged

Malaysia SMR20 (August) $3.20/kg unchanged

Malaysia SMR20 (Sept) $3.20/kg unchanged

Indonesia SIR20 (August) $1.44/lb unchanged

Indonesia SIR20 (Sept) $1.44/lb unchanged

Thai USS3 100 baht/kg -1 baht

Thai 60-percent latex (drums, Aug) $2,190/tonne -$20

Thai 60-percent latex (bulk, Aug) $2,040/tonne -$20 (Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo and Miho Yoshikawa; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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