Tokyo Stocks Rise; Dollar Up Against Yen
TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo stocks ended on a high note Wednesday in anticipation of government help on the way to ease markets through the impact of a likely war in Iraq. The dollar was slightly higher against the yen.
The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 96.58 points, or 1.21 percent, to close at 8,051.04. The Nikkei rose 82.82 points, or 1.05 percent, Tuesday.
The dollar was trading at 118.76 yen at 5 p.m. (3:00 a.m. EST), up 0.18 yen from late Tuesday in Tokyo but below the 118.83 yen it bought later in New York trading. The currency traded between 118.53 yen and 118.85 yen in Tokyo.
In a topsy-turvy session, the blue-chip Nikkei index sank below its latest 20-year record closing low of 7862.43, led by a sell off of major banks.
But a late burst of buying erased a morning deficit and propelled it back into positive territory for a second straight day.
The megabanks ended mixed with Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group up, but Mizuho Holdings and UFJ Holding down.
Key exporters benefited Wednesday from a stronger dollar trading just under the 119-yen level. Automakers Honda and Nissan Motor, as well as technology issues Nikon, Kyocera and Sony all ended up.
Investors were waiting for details of measures promised by the Japanese government to ease the economic impact of a widely expected war in Iraq.
President George W. Bush on Tuesday gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein a 48-hour deadline to flee Iraq or face a U.S.-led invasion.
A senior ruling party official, Taku Yamasaki, said Wednesday steps were coming to support the Japanese stock market, which has recently plummeted to 20-year lows.
The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index rose 5.52 points, or 0.70 percent, to close at 789.08. The TOPIX, which includes all first section issues, gained 6.35 points, or 0.82 percent, on Tuesday.
Volume on the first section is estimated at 726.73 million shares, down from 816.67 million shares Tuesday. Decliners edged advancers 710 to 646, while 162 issues ended unchanged.
In other trading on the currency market late Wednesday, the euro bought $1.0616, down from $1.0644 late Tuesday in Tokyo. Against the yen, the euro traded at 126.09, down from 126.29 yen the day before.
The yield on Japan’s benchmark 10-year government bond fell to 0.7100 from 0.7200 percent at Tuesday’s close. Its price rose 0.09 to 100.83.
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Japan’s Tokyo Stock Exchange: http://www.tse.or.jp