Tokyo Market Closes Mixed, Dollar Declines
TOKYO (AP) _ Share prices closed mixed today on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, while the dollar declined against the Japanese yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 91.50 points, or 0.55 percent, closing at 16,681.05. It had fallen a total of 404.53 points in the five previous trading days.
But the broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section fell 1.95 points, or 0.15 percent, to 1,281.98. It had shed 5.59 points, or 0.43 percent, on Monday.
An estimated 150 million shares changed hands, almost unchanged from Monday’s thin 150.93 million. Declining issues narrowly outnumbered advances 441 to 421, with 212 issues unchanged.
Kunihiko Hitomi, an analyst with Wako Securities, said the Nikkei index’s rebound ″was mainly technical following a five-day fall. But bearish sentiment on the market has not improved much.″
A round of buying by public pension funds boosted the Nikkei, but small-lot selling then trimmed its early gain, which had reached some 130 points, said Noriyuki Watanabe, an analyst with Yamaichi Securities.
Early gainers included non-ferrous metal stocks, oil and other energy- related issues that drew investor interest because of concern about Iraq’s incursions into Kuwait, Watanabe said.
Meanwhile, Japanese Finance Minister Yoshiro Hayashi told a regular news conference that his ministry is studying whether to adopt new measures to bolster the faltering stock market. He did not elaborate.
Last August, the government decided to pump more money from public pension funds into the market, a measure that helped stock prices briefly but failed to lift the market out of its long-term doldrums.
On the foreign exchange market, the dollar closed at 125.05 yen, down 0.31 yen from Monday’s close and below its overnight New York finish of 125.35 yen. After opening at 125.16 yen, it ranged between 125.03 yen and 125.20 yen.
Traders said the dollar edged lower as hopes rose somewhat for an easing of tension in the Middle East.
The dollar is often regarded as a safe haven in times of international unrest.
Kaori Muto, a dealer with Bank of America in Tokyo, said many traders see the dollar in an adjustment phase this week following a net gain of 0.77 yen in Tokyo for all of last week.
Muto said, however, that uncertainty about the Iraq situation would keep the dollar from sliding much.
The price of the benchmark No. 145 10-year Japanese government bonds rose to 106.93 points from Monday’s 106.54-point finish. Their yield fell to 4.435 percent from 4.490 percent Monday.
Bond prices were approaching four-year highs.
Kazuhiko Fujieda, a bond dealer at Okasan Securities, said it was natural for investors to show interest in bonds when stock market prospects look unprofitable.