Stocks, Dollar Finish Lower
TOKYO (AP) _ Share prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell in moderately improved trading Friday, while the dollar finished lower against the Japanese yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 46.14 points, or 0.28 percent, closing at 16,330.79. On Thursday, the Nikkei gained 58.78 points, or 0.36 percent.
The wider Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 4.64 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,242.24. The TOPIX lost 1.45 points, or 0.12 percent, the day earlier.
An estimated at 320 million shares changed hands, up from Thursday’s 201 million shares. A large portion of the turnover came from trading related to the early morning settlement of November index option contracts, traders said.
Stock traders said prices were lower on small-lot selling by foreign and corporate investors, driven by declining futures prices.
Kenzo Doi, an analyst with Kokusai Securities, said the Tokyo market remained lower despite news that some European nations, including Britain and France, announced a lowering of their interest rates Thursday.
Delays on a supplementary budget in Parliament, which has remained stalled since last Friday, are among the negative factors influencing market players, Doi said.
Governing and opposition party officials have yet to decide who will be summoned to testify at a lower house committee session in a probe of a widening scandal. The scandal involves illegal donations and alleged links between senior politicians and gangsters.
Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister Kozo Watanabe told a regular news conference he has proposed the nation’s interest rates be lowered, especially for smaller firms suffering from the recession.
In currency trading, the dollar closed at 123.84 yen, down 0.29 yen from Thursday’s finish and also below its overnight New York trading at 123.95 yen. After opening at 123.77 yen, it ranged between 123.72 yen and 123.88 yen.
The dollar’s lower opening followed a fall Thursday in uneventful trading in New York.
Currency dealers said the dollar stayed in a narrow range in quiet trading in the absence of market-affecting news.
The yield on benchmark No. 145 10-year Japanese government bonds slipped to 4.630 percent from Thursday’s 4.635-percent finish. Their price stood at 105.65 points, up from 105.62.