Stocks Sag, Dollar Finishes Unchanged
TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo share prices sagged in moderate but listless trading today, while the dollar closed unchanged from the previous day’s finish after a three-day rise.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 154.72 points, or 0.62 percent, closing at 24,799.94. On Tuesday, the average lost 62.15 points, or 0.25 percent, after gaining 1,156.14 points in the previous five trading days.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section closed at 1,877.09 points, down 7.18 points, or 0.38 percent.
Volume on the first section was estimated at 450 million shares, down from Tuesday’s 484 million. Declining issues outnumbered advances 516 to 456, with 174 unchanged.
″It’s quite common for the market to go through correction for a couple of days after a continued advance,″ said a Nikko Securities dealer, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Naoto Kanazawa, a trader with Taiheiyo Securities, said the general market outlook remained favorable because of continued expectations of a cut in Japan’s official discount rate.
There has been speculation that Japan’s central bank may cut its official discount rate, the rate charged on its loans to commercial banks, after a new Cabinet takes office early next month.
Lower interest rates tend to encourage stock investment.
The dollar closed at 131.45 yen, unchanged from Tuesday’s close and slightly above its overnight finish of 131.40 yen in New York. In the previous three trading days, the dollar had gained 1.92 yen in Tokyo.
After opening at 131.57 yen, it ranged between 131.20 yen and 131.75 yen. Spot trading totaled $10.05 billion, slightly lower than Tuesday’s $10.28 billion.
Yutaka Miyajima, an exchange dealer with Mitsui Trust and Banking, said some traders tried to test the dollar’s upper range before facing selling by exporting firms above 131.50 yen.
The benchmark No. 129 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 103.09 points, down from Tuesday’s 103.20-point finish. Their yield rose to 5.850 percent from 5.830 percent.