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TOCOM ends lower on profit booking

Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures fell on Tuesday as investors took profits after two sessions of gains and as oil prices dropped in thin trade with investors awaiting China's economic data due later this week for clues about demand in the world's top buyer.

The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for October delivery finished lower 1.2 yen, or 0.5 percent, at 222.7 yen ($1.86) per kg.

"The market was weighed down by lower oil prices," said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities.

Crude oil prices fell on Tuesday as slow economic growth and high supplies meant that markets remain oversupplied, although U.S. prices received some support from rising demand ahead of the summer driving season.

"Investors welcomed China's interest rate cut earlier this month, but they need to see a sign of improvement in its economy to step up buying," Yoshida said.

China cut interest rates for the third time in six months earlier this month in a bid to lower companies' borrowing costs and stoke a sputtering economy that is headed for its worst year in a quarter of a century.

Investors eye the flash HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for May, due on Thursday, dealers said.

The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery fell 125 yuan to finish at 14,340 yuan ($2,310.74) per tonne.

The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for June delivery last traded at 152.9 U.S. cents per kg, down 1.5 cent.