Stocks Tumble, Dollar Rises
TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo share prices tumbled in moderate trading today, weighed down by worries over Japan’s economy in the wake of a disastrous earthquake. The dollar rose against the yen.
Selling from both Japanese and foreign institutional investors added to profit-taking in construction, road and cement and glass shares, which had surged after Tuesday’s earthquake on expectations of a boom in business from reconstruction work.
``The negative effect from the quake will gradually but visibly emerge in the economy, affecting its recovery pace,″ said Yoichi Nakama of Sanyo Securities.
Nakama said main distribution lines linking western and eastern Japan are blocked because of damage to the Hanshin Expressway and the Shinkansen ``bullet train″ service near the western city of Kobe, where more than 3,000 people were killed in the earthquake.
The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.2, also forced chemical and petroleum plants operating near Kobe’s waterfront area to halt operations.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 147.57 points, or 0.77 percent, closing at 19,075.74. On Wednesday, the benchmark index lost 18.01 points, or 0.09 percent, closing at 19,223.31.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section fell 15.95 points, or 1.06 percent, to 1,483.51 points. It had lost 3.74 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 1,502.88 the previous day.
An estimated 400 million shares changed hands on the first section, up from Wednesday’s 366 million shares. Declining issues outnumbered advances 790 to 235, with 139 unchanged.
In currency trading, the dollar was trading at 99.90 yen at late afternoon, up from its late level in Tokyo Wednesday of 98.94 yen. It was quoted at 99.70 yen in New York late Wednesday.
The Japanese currency was weakened by selling in the stock market as some investors sought to shift their yen-denominated assets to dollars because of the earthquake’s impact on Japan’s economy, traders said.
The benchmark No. 164 10-year Japanese government bonds closed down 0.12 yen from Wednesday’s finish to 96.32 yen. Their yield rose to 4.685 percent from 4.655 percent.