TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) - Tokyo rubber futures edged down on Friday but were still set to climb about 9 percent on the week, with increasing inventories and a pause in the yen's fall making investors reluctant to push the contract above a two-week high hit the day before.
* The benchmark Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract, for September delivery , was down 0.2 yen at 276.7 yen per kg by 0030 GMT.
* The contract is on course to gain about 9 percent on the week, compared with last Friday's close of 253.5 yen, bolstered by a fall in the yen to a four-year low.
* On Thursday, the September contract rose as far as 280.8 yen, the highest since March 28.
* Crude rubber inventories at Japanese ports climbed to 15,799 tonnes as of March 31, the highest level since 2007, data from the Rubber Trade Association of Japan showed.
* In China, vehicle sales in the first three months of the year were up 13.2 percent from a year earlier to 5.42 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said on Thursday.
* The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Thursday trimmed its global oil demand growth estimate, following similar moves by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The IEA now expects world oil use to rise by 795,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year, or 25,000 bpd less than it previously thought.
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* The dollar stayed within spitting distance of 100 yen in Asia on Friday as dips were met with buying interest, putting dollar/yen on track for a second week of gains and the biggest two-week rise in four years.
* Japan's Nikkei share average edged down but held near five-year highs on Friday, underpinned by ongoing optimism about the economic outlook on the back of bold government and central bank policies.
* Oil prices slipped on Thursday, coming under pressure from the IEA's downgrading of its oil growth forecast, even as world stock markets rose for a fourth day, after receiving a lift from an unexpected drop in U.S. initial jobless claims last week.
* The following data is expected on Friday: (Time in GMT)
0530 India Industrial output
0645 France Current account
0900 Euro zone Industrial output
Univ of Michigan sentiment index
1630 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks
N/A Euro zone finance ministers meet in Dublin
(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Joseph Radford)