Dollar Up, Stocks Fall
TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar rose against the yen for the second consecutive day today amid worries over the Middle East, while share prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell moderately.
The dollar closed at 128.95 yen, up 1.00 yen from Monday’s close of 127.95 yen. It opened at 129.10 yen and ranged between 128.55 yen and 129.10 yen.
The dollar had climbed 0.82 yen on Monday.
Some $8.74 billion changed hands in today’s spot trading, up from $6.94 billion the previous day.
Currency traders said Persion Gulf tensions helped keep the dollar higher after its overnight rise in New York.
″The yen was sold because of rising oil prices,″ said a dealer with the Industrial Bank of Japan, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The U.S. currency is regarded a safe haven in times of international tensions. Worries about a possible war in the gulf also usually weaken the yen because Japan imports about 70 percent of its oil from the Middle East.
Brent crude for January delivery was valued at about $33.40 to $33.50 a barrel here today, about 50 cents above levels seen late Monday in New York.
Reports that the U.N. Security Council was likely to approve a resolution authorizing the use of force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait depressed the Tokyo stock market, analysts said.
The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 selected issues, which gained 362.58 points Monday, lost 139.35, or 0.59 percent, closing at 23,623.51.
A total of 250 million shares were traded on the first section, unchanged from Monday’s trading volume.
″There was no direction in the market, with many investors taking a wait- and-see position,″ said Takashi Morinaga, an analyst with Okasan Securities.
In bond dealings, the price of the benchmark No. 119 10-year Japanese government bonds slid to 86.45 points from Monday’s close of 86.56. Their yield rose to 7.390 percent from 7.365 percent.