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 Tokyo Rubber Ends Down 9.7 Pct, Pressured By Weak Oil

TOKYO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Tokyo rubber futures closed down 9,7 percent on Monday as tumbling crude oil prices fanned investor worries about global demand, with the benchmark rubber contract dipping to a near four-year low.
   * The key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract for May delivery <0#JRU:> closed at 124.2 yen per kg, down 13.4 yen or about 9.7 percent, after earlier hitting an intraday low of 122.1 yen, the lowest since January 2005.
   * "The market has not yet factored in a fall in demand due to the global recession," said Takashi Ogura, a director at Kanetsu Asset Management Co.
   "Prices are low, having fallen more than 50 percent from a peak. But technical charts suggest room for further falls," he said, adding that the short-term market range fell to 100-150 yen late last month from 150-200 yen previously.
   * U.S. crude futures <CLc1> fell below $53 per barrel on Monday after producer cartel OPEC decided over the weekend to delay consideration of a third supply cut to its next meeting later in December as economic woes reduce oil demand. [O/R]
   * Amid concerns about the global economy, rubber prices often move in line with oil prices.
   * Trading in the physical rubber market has been slow due to continued political confusion in Thailand, the world's top rubber producer.
   * In Thailand, anti-government protestors ignored a police order to end a blockade of Bangkok's main airport, which entered its seventh day on Monday. [ID:nSP258694]
    * Rubber inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 3 percent to 65,995 tonnes in the week ended on Thursday, the exchange said on Friday. It was the lowest level since the week ended on Nov. 6.
   
   PRICES OF ASIAN PHYSICAL RUBBER COMPARED WITH FRIDAY
   Grade                                Price        Change
   Thai RSS3 (Jan)                     $1.40/kg      -$0.05
   Thai RSS3 (Feb)                     $1.40/kg      -$0.05
   Thai STR20 (Jan)                    $1.40/kg      -$0.05
   Thai STR20 (Feb)                    $1.40/kg      -$0.05
   Malaysia SMR20 (Jan)                $1.40/kg      -$0.05
   Malaysia SMR20 (Feb)                $1.40/kg      -$0.05
   Indonesia SIR20 (Jan)               $0.62/lb      -$0.01
   Indonesia SIR20 (Feb)               $0.62/lb      -$0.01
   Thai USS3                           44 baht/kg   unchanged
   Thai 60-percent latex (drums, Jan)  $1,100/tonne unchanged
   Thai 60-percent latex (bulk, Jan)     $950/tonne unchanged ** NOTE - The prices quoted above are offer prices collected from traders in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. They are not official prices quoted by state-run rubber agencies in those countries. (Reporting by Risa Maeda, Miho Yoshikawa) ((risa.maeda@thomsonreuters.com;  +81 3 6441 1856 ; Reuters Messaging: risa.maeda.reuters.com@reuters.net))