Tokyo Stocks Open Lower
TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo share prices opened lower Wednesday amid concerns over the recent fast pace of stock market gains. The dollar dropped against the yen.
The Nikkei Stock Average fell 49.85 points, or 0.30 percent, to 16,429.86 in the first 30 minutes of trading. On Tuesday, the average closed up 144.93 points, or 0.89 percent.
The dollar bought 120.86 yen in early trading, down 0.20 yen from late Tuesday in Tokyo but above its level of 120.62 yen in New York.
On the stock market, share prices fell as market players worried that Japan’s still-weak economic fundamentals did not warrant the Nikkei’s rise of 4 percent since the end of last month.
``With no clear signs of the economy getting better, why should it go higher?″ asked Louis Tseng, managing director at LHT Investment Management.
Analysts also said investors may have been exercising caution ahead of the settlement of monthly options contracts Friday.
The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 3.72 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,318.89. The TOPIX closed up 15.44 points, or 1.18 percent, the day before.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 43.84 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 9,963.49.
In currency dealings, the dollar continued to slip after falling the previous day due to active selling of the U.S. currency by Japanese exporters.
Despite the recent dip, however, the dollar is expected to be supported by the continuing turmoil in Yugoslavia, where NATO forces have intensified their bombing campaign.
The U.S. currency is often seen as a safe haven for investors during times of international crisis.
In other currencies, the euro was traded at 130.76 yen, up from 130.19 yen late Tuesday in Tokyo.
The yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.820 percent from Tuesday’s finish of 1.795 percent, driving its price down to 99.82 yen from 100.04 yen.