TOKYO, April 11 (Reuters) - Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures closed slightly higher on Thursday after earlier hitting a two-week high, helped by the dollar's firmness versus the yen.
The benchmark rubber contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) for September delivery settled up 1.2 yen at 276.9 yen ($2.8) per kg. The contract had earlier hit a two-week high of 280.8 yen.
The dollar stayed near a four-year high of 99.88 yen reached the previous day as expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve may slow its bond-buying added to dollar strength.
A lower yen inflates Tokyo futures prices relative to dollar-based prices in producing countries and often encourages speculative buying.
"The market came down a bit by the close, but the momentum is kept now that the dollar looks to have its own bullish factor to head higher," said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst at Dot Commodity.
On the bearish side, industry data showed on Thursday that crude rubber stocks at Japanese ports had risen to a six-year high as of March 31.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery fell 405 yuan to finish at 21,460 yuan ($3,500) per tonne.
The front-month rubber contract on Singapore's SICOM exchange for May delivery last traded at 259.50 U.S. cents per kg, down 1.4 cents.
($1 = 6.1939 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 99.5050 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Risa Maeda; editing by Jane Baird)