Dollar, Stocks Close Higher
TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar closed higher against the Japanese yen in Tokyo Wednesday, while share prices advanced moderately.
The dollar finished at 129.73 yen, up 0.41 yen from Tuesday’s close of 129.32 yen. It opened at 129.83 yen and ranged between 129.65 yen and 130.00 yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 339.22 points, or 1.61 percent, closing at 21,364.77. On Tuesday, the average was up 52.31 points, or 0.25 percent.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section gained 16.04 points, or 1.04 percent, to 1,552.01. It fell 0.85 points on Tuesday.
As of 3 p.m. (5 a.m. EST), the benchmark No. 129 10-year Japanese government bonds rose to 105.74 points from Tuesday’s 105.62-point finish. Their yield fell to 5.375 percent from 5.395 percent.
Currency traders said the dollar traded in a narrow range in the absence of fresh market influences.
″(The dollar) is rising to a level where it could be checked by central bank intervention,″ said Junji Kitagawa, an exchange dealer with Mitsui Trust and Banking. He added that there was no sign of such intervention.
Speculation has been building that central banks may intervene to stem the dollar’s recent rise against the yen.
In addition, Kitagawa said, a possible move by Japan’s central bank to ease credit is making traders reluctant to buy the yen. Lower Japanese interest rates would hurt the yen’s value against other currencies.
Meanwhile, the stock market was buoyed by hopes that the nation’s official discount rate may be lowered as early as next month, said Masunori Ishitobi of Sanyo Securities.
Ishitobi said the market was also helped after testimony in Parliament Tuesday over a bribery scandal produced ″no new revelations.″