Dollar Lower, Stocks Mixed
TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar fell against the Japanese yen today, although central bank intervention slowed its decline, traders said. Tokyo share prices closed mixed in thin trading.
The dollar was trading at 90.19 yen at 5 p.m. (3:00 a.m. EST), down 0.94 yen from late Friday in Tokyo and also below 91.09 yen in late New York trading Friday.
Before 5 p.m. (3:00 a.m. EST), the dollar ranged between 90.07 yen and 90.65 yen.
Hitomi Yokoyama, a dealer with Chemical Bank in Tokyo, said dollar selling accelerated in midday on reports that senior U.S. Federal Reserve officials were showing little enthusiasm for additional interest rate increases. Higher interest rates tend to make a currency more attractive to investors.
But the dollar stayed above 90 yen, supported by sporadic dollar-buying intervention by the Bank of Japan, Yokoyama and other traders said.
The central bank does not customarily comment on its intervention activities.
Delegates from the Group of Seven industrialized nations were to meet in Paris later today to discuss recent instability in foreign exchange markets.
At one point in Tokyo trading last Wednesday, the dollar declined to 88.75 yen, its lowest since modern exchange rates were established in the late 1940s.
On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the 255-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 119.26 points, or 0.73 percent, closing at 16,477.64. On Friday, the key index had fallen 404.70 points, or 2.41 percent, to 16,358.38, its lowest close this year.
Afternoon short-covering in the Nikkei index futures market pushed the average higher, although other indices closed lower, dealers said.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index, an average of all first-section share prices, was down 2.79 points, or 0.21 percent, to 1,320.17. It had lost 18.79 points, or 1.40 percent, to 1,322.96 on Friday.
An estimated 250 million shares changed hands on the first section, down from Friday’s 696 million. Friday’s volume was boosted by the special quotation for settlement of March index futures and options.
Despite the Nikkei’s advance, declines outnumbered advances 646 to 358, with 160 issues unchanged.
The price of the benchmark No. 174 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 103.76 yen, up 0.53 yen from their close of 103.23 yen Friday. Their yield fell to 4.050 percent from 4.125 percent.