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Dollar, Stocks Up in Japan

December 5, 1997

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar advanced against the yen in early trading Friday amid persistent concerns about Japan’s sluggish economy. Stock prices rose.

The dollar was trading at 129.44 yen, up 0.16 yen from 129.28 late Thursday in Tokyo and higher than its level of 129.39 overnight in New York.

Earlier in New York, the dollar hit a 5 1/2 year intraday high of 129.74 yen as traders remained skeptical that the Japanese economy is on the path to recovery.

Despite reports earlier in the week that Japanese financial officials may intervene to support the yen, traders said the dollar is likely to continue to rise against the yen.

``Once the dollar rises above 130 yen, it will easily move to as high as 132.00 yen in the near term,″ said Takaya Matsumoto, manager of international trading section of Tokai Bank.

The benchmark Nikkei Stock Average rose 165.14 points, or 1.01 percent, to 16,471.93 points in the first half hour of trading. On Thursday, the average lost 278.72 points, or 1.68 percent.

Reports that Yasuda Trust & Banking will withdraw from overseas banking under a restructuring plan triggered a rally in banking shares.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section rose 9.16 points, or 0.75 percent, to 1,237.90. The TOPIX closed down 22.45 points, or 1.79 percent Wednesday.

The yield on the benchmark No. 182 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 1.580 percent from Thursday’s close of 1.585 percent, driving its price up to 109.83 from 109.80.

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