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Tokyo Stocks Rise Sharply

March 13, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar sank against the yen and stocks rose sharply Friday morning on reports that Japan plans to use public funds to support the stock market.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average soared 525.48 points, or 3.17 percent, to 17,100.70 points in morning trading. On Thursday, the average closed down 180.92 points, or 1.08 percent.

The Asahi newspaper reported Friday the government intends to pump 1.3 trillion yen ($10.11 billion) into the stock market this month using funds from the government-controlled postal savings and insurance systems.

The aim of the plan would be to push the Nikkei average above 18,000 before the fiscal year ends March 31 to boost profits and capital levels for the nation’s banks, traders said. Japanese banks hold shares of other companies in their investment portfolios.

The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues of all issues listed on the stock exchange’s first section was up 26.28 points, or 2.10 percent, to 1,275.99 percent. The TOPIX closed down 11.40 points, or 0.90 percent, the day before.

Meanwhile, the sharp rise in stocks pushed the U.S. dollar lower against the yen.

The dollar cost 128.56 yen in morning trading, down 0.45 yen from late Thursday in Tokyo and also below its late New York rate of 129.32 yen.

The yield on the benchmark No. 182 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.535 percent from Thursday’s finish of 1.525 percent, driving its price down to 109.85 from 109.93.

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