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Rubber Pares Monthly Gain Before U.S. Growth Data, Fed Meeting

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July 31 (Bloomberg) -- Rubber slid to a two-week low, paring the first monthly gain in six, ahead of U.S. economic growth data and a policy statement by the Federal Reserve today.

The contract for delivery in January lost 1.4 percent to 240.3 yen a kilogram ($2,454 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since July 16. The drop pared gains for this month to 1.7 percent.

The Fed has indicated its $85 billion monthly bond purchases could be trimmed should the U.S. economy meet its forecasts, though Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has said there’s no fixed schedule for tapering stimulus. The government may say today that gross domestic product growth slowed last quarter, while employment data are also scheduled this week.

“Investors are waiting for the outcome of the FOMC meeting to see whether they will taper quantitative easing,” said Lee Chen Hoay, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte., in Singapore.

U.S. gross domestic product probably grew at a 1 percent annualized rate from April through June, compared with 1.8 percent in the previous three months, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the Commerce Department data today.

Rubber for January delivery added 2.3 percent to 17,915 yuan ($2,922) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. Thai rubber free-on-board fell 0.6 percent to 76.75 baht ($2.45) a kilogram today, the lowest level since October 2009, according to the Rubber Research Institute of Thailand.

Rubber output in Thailand, the biggest grower, may expand to 3.86 million tons in 2013 from 3.63 million tons last year, according to the nation’s Office of Agricultural Economics.

To contact the reporters on this story: Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok at ssuwannakij@bloomberg.net; Aya Takada in Tokyo at atakada2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jarrett Banks at jbanks15@bloomberg.net

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