TOKYO, May 24 (Reuters) – Key TOCOM rubber futures extended losses on Thursday, tracking overnight falls in oil prices and weaker Shanghai and Singapore rubber markets, while Europe’s debt crisis continued to highlight concerns over global demand.
* The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for October delivery <0#2JRU:> was down 0.7 yen or 0.3 percent to 268.9 yen per kg as of 0045 GMT. The contract fell as low as 265.4 yen earlier.
* European Union leaders, advised by senior officials to prepare contingency plans in case Greece decides to quit the single currency, urged the country to stay the course on austerity and complete the reforms demanded under its bailout programme.
* Europe’s crippling debt crisis could curb demand for rubber this year and prompt tyre makers to run down inventories, while appetite in China, the world’s largest user of the commodity, will hinge on efforts by Beijing to stimulate its economy.
* Michelin, the world’s second-biggest tyremaker, said first-quarter revenue rose 5.1 percent as price increases and a jump in sales of specialty tyres helped to offset weaker European demand.
* Japan’s Nikkei average inched higher in early trade on Thursday, retracing some of the previous session’s sharp fall, as stocks erased losses to end flat to higher.
* Oil futures fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday to five-month lows, as a potential nuclear deal between Iran and the West eased supply concerns and worries about Greece’s future in the euro zone raised questions about demand.
* The following data is expected on Thursday:
- 0800 OECD latest economic outlook
- 1145 U.S. ICSC chain stores yy Weekly
- 1400 U.S. Existing home sales Apr
- 1400 EZ Euroilstock refinery output Apr
- 1400 EZ Euro zone consumer confidence May
- 1400 U.S. Richmond Fed manufacturing, services index May
- 2030 U.S. API weekly crude stocks Weekly
- 2030 U.S. API weekly dist. stocks Weekly
- 2030 U.S. API weekly gasoline stk Weekly
(Reporting by Yuko Inoue; Editing by Ed Davies)
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