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Tokyo Stocks Rise 56 Points

February 14, 2001

TOKYO (AP) _ Japan’s main stock index advanced moderately following news reports that a ranking member of the ruling coalition urged Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori to step down from his post. The dollar was lower against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average, which was down some 140 points early in the session, gained 56.04 points, or 0.42 percent, to 13,330.74 at the end of the morning trading. On Tuesday, the average closed down 148.13 points, or 1.10 percent.

The dollar bought 116.64 yen in late morning trading, down 0.58 yen from late Tuesday in Tokyo but slightly higher than its late New York level of 116.61 yen.

The Nikkei index reversed course after the official of the New Komeito Party called on the gaffe-prone prime minister to resign at an early date.

Mori has been criticized for finishing a round of golf after first hearing on Saturday that a Japanese fishing boat was rammed by a U.S. Navy submarine off Hawaii.

Mori’s administration has been plagued by scandal from its inception in April last year.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 0.95 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,258.72. The TOPIX closed down 6.33 points, or 0.50 percent, the day before.

The dollar’s weakness reflected comments on Tuesday by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan signaling that the Fed may cut interest rates further to help a U.S. economy facing significant ``downside risks.″

Lower interest rates tend to make a nation’s currency less attractive to investors.

The euro was traded at 107.38 yen, down from 108.62 yen late Tuesday in Tokyo.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 1.3750 percent from Tuesday’s finish of 1.3900 percent. Its price rose 0.13 point to 101.10.

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On the Net:

Tokyo Stock Exchange: http://www.tse.or.jp

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