Dollar Edges Higher, Stocks Fall for Fourth Straight Trading Day
TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar edged higher against the Japanese yen today on worries about North Korea after its leader’s death. The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s key index fell for the fourth consecutive trading day.
The dollar closed at 98.55 yen, the day’s high, up 0.02 yen from Friday’s finish. It was also above its finish in New York Friday of 98.05 yen.
The U.S. currency opened at 98.30 yen, its lowest opening in Tokyo since modern exchange rates were established in the late 1940s, and moved as low as 98.24 yen. The previous record low opening of 98.40 yen was set July 1.
Earlier, in Sydney, where trading starts before Tokyo’s, the dollar had slipped to 97.55 yen. Traders said investors were disappointed by a lack of strong commitment to support the dollar from the weekend summit meeting of the Group of Seven major industrial democracies. Ryoko Kawashima, a dealer with Citibank in Tokyo, said Tokyo trading was centered on the German mark. The mark drew investors’ attention as a safe haven due to uncertainties about the North Korean situation, dealers said.
North Korean leader Kim Il Sung died at age 82 on Friday. Other nations were waiting to see how a change in leadership would affect the hard-line Communist state’s stand on accepting inspections of its nuclear program, suspected of developing nuclear arms.
Traders said the dollar was bought toward the end of Tokyo’s Monday trading following news that North Korea has indefinitely put off plans for a historic meeting between its president and rival South Korea’s.
Spot trading totaled $4.54 billion, down from Friday’s $5.86 billion.
Meanwhile, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 53.42 points, or 0.26 percent, closing at 20,473.09. The average now has follen a total of 361.28 points in four trading days.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 4.72 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,656.16. It had fallen 7.55 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,660.88 on Friday.
An estimated 200 million shares changed hands on the first section, down from Friday’s 342 million. Declines outnumbered advances 653 to 301, with 209 issues unchanged.
Many investors were waiting for international developments following the death of North Korea’s leader, traders said.
The price of the benchmark No. 164 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 98.03 yen, down 0.79 yen from Friday’s close. Their yield rose by 0.120 percentage point to 4.395 percent.