TOKYO, May 13 (Reuters) - Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures posted a fifth straight day of gains on Monday as they hit a two-month peak after Japanese equities surged to 5-1/2 year highs on the back of the yen's slide to a fresh low against the U.S. currency.
The Japanese yen broke below the 102 mark to the dollar on Monday, its weakest level since October 2008, after Tokyo escaped direct criticism of its aggressive monetary easing programme at the Group of Seven meeting over the weekend.
The Nikkei share average rose 1.2 percent on Monday and has gained a hefty 42 percent this year, helped by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's growth policies and the Bank of Japan's aggressive monetary easing.
"A slower pace of gains in Japanese equity prices than in the past was putting a brake on buying in rubber," said Satoru Yoshida, commodity analyst at Dot Commodity.
"But it's a matter of time for rubber prices to clear the 300 yen mark. The trend of higher equity prices and weaker yen will likely stay intact," he said.
The benchmark Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for October delivery settled at 294 yen ($2.9) per kg, up 0.4 yen from the previous close.
The October contract earlier rose to 299 yen, the highest for any TOCOM benchmark since March 12.
Monday's economic data from China, the world's biggest rubber consumer, mostly came slightly short of expectations, limiting further gains in rubber prices.
China's industrial output in April grew 9.3 percent from a year earlier and its fixed-asset investment grew 20.6 percent from a year ago, both slightly below expectations. Retail sales in April rose 12.8 percent from a year earlier, matching forecasts.
The most-active rubber contract on Shanghai futures exchange was down 75 yuan to finish at 20,515 yuan ($3,300) per tonne.
The front-month June rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM futures exchange was last traded at 261 U.S. cents per kg, down 5.4 cents. ($1 = 6.1417 Chinese yuan) ($1 = 101.7800 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Sunil Nair)