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Japan Stocks Down in Early Trading

January 31, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo stocks fell in early trading Monday following a decline on Wall Street on Friday. The U.S. dollar rose against the Japanese yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 119.05 points, or 0.61 percent, to 19,315.73 in the first 30 minutes of trading. On Friday, the average closed up 225.06 points, or 1.17 percent.

The dollar was quoted at 106.86 yen, up 2.00 yen from its level of 104.86 yen Friday in Tokyo but below its level of 106.98 yen in New York late Friday.

On the Tokyo stock market, the Nikkei declined after Wall Street investors sold shares Friday on fresh fears of a U.S. interest rate increase.

Many investors are worried that the U.S. Federal Reserve will try to contain inflationary pressures by raising interest rates at its meeting this week, curbing business expansion by making it more expensive to borrow money. There also are worries that the Fed will raise rates again later this year.

Banks, industrial and technology companies posted the largest drops.

The technology-laden Nasdaq composite index on Friday suffered its second-biggest point drop ever as investors dumped shares in usually popular Qualcomm, Intel and Oracle.

The Dow Jones industrial average on Friday tumbled 289.15 points, or 2.6 percent, to 10,738.87, its lowest level since Nov. 11.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all first-section companies was down 0.89 points in the early going Monday, or 0.05 percent, at 1,701.72. The TOPIX rose 16.71 points, or 0.99 percent, to 1,702.61 Friday.

In currency trading, the dollar rose against the yen, after falling Friday amid a selloff of the euro to acquire the Japanese currency.

The dollar had been pulled down against the yen because euro holders first bought dollars, which were then sold to buy yen.

Early Friday in Tokyo, the euro was quoted at 104.76 yen, up from 103.34 yen late Friday.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond was unchanged from its Friday finish of 1.6600 percent. Its price remained 100.34.

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