Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures skidded on Friday, dragged down by US crude oil prices which hit their lowest in almost 6-1/2 years, but the contract marked a small gain for the week amid thin trade as many traders were away for holiday, dealers said. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for January delivery finished 0.4 yen, or 0.2 percent, lower at 193.9 yen ($1.56) per kg. TOCOM futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, rose 0.3 percent for the week, their first weekly gain in four.

“Rubber was weighed down by slumping oil prices,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager at Nihon Unicom Inc. US crude oil fell to its lowest in almost six-and-a-half years on Friday as huge stockpiles and refinery shutdowns heightened concerns about global oversupply and slowing economies in Asia.

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