TOKYO, May 16 (Reuters) – Key TOCOM rubber futures edged higher on Wednesday as the dollar firmed versus the yen, but price gains from a 4-month low marked the previous day were limited by uncertainty over the debt crisis in the euro zone.
* On Tuesday, the contract fell as low as 265 yen, the lowest since Jan. 6.
* Yen-denominated TOCOM prices were underpinned by a recovery in the dollar above 80 yen after Tuesday’s promising U.S. economic data.
* Greek political leaders meet on Wednesday to form a caretaker government that will lead the country into its second election in just over a month, with Greece’s euro membership at stake in a mounting crisis rocking world markets.
* Financial markets have been rattled by the prospect that a victory by Greek leftists opposed to austerity measures – conditional to an international bailout – could put not only Greece’s euro membership but also the euro zone’s fiscal consolidation efforts at stake.
* Japan’s Nikkei average fell in early trade on Wednesday as investors cut exposure to risky assets after the failure of Greek politicians to form a government raised the prospect leftists opposed to bailout terms could win new elections in June.
* U.S. crude prices fell for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, dropping below $94 a barrel as a larger-than-expected rise in U.S. crude stocks and fears of a Greek exit from the euro zone outweighed strong economic growth in Germany.
* The euro dropped to a four-month low against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, while promising U.S data sent the greenback to a session high against the yen at 80.33 yen.
* The following data is expected on Wednesday:
0900 EZ Inflation, final yy Apr
0900 EZ Eurostat trade nsa, EUR Mar
1230 U.S. Build permits: change mm Apr
1230 U.S. House starts mm: change Apr
1230 U.S. Housing starts number mm Apr
1315 U.S. Industrial output mm Apr
1430 U.S. EIA petroleum status report Weekly
2350 Japan GDP qq annualised Q1
(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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