Market’s Key Index Falls for Third Consecutive Day, Dollar Edges Up
TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo share prices fell in light trading today for the third consecutive day amid growing pessimism over the outcome of U.S.-Japan auto trade talks. The dollar edged up against the yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 140.98 points, or 0.98 percent, closing at 14,618.07.
The average now has fallen a total of 647.11 points in three days, and is approaching its worst recent finish of 14,309.41 on Aug. 18, 1992.
The United States has said it will impose 100 percent tariffs on 13 models of Japanese-made luxury cars unless Japan agrees by today to open its market to more sales of U.S. cars and parts.
``There remains the potential of strong selling pressure″ on stocks, said Katsuhiko Kodama, deputy manager of the equity department at Toyo Securities.
Kodama also said the lack of effective government measures to combat the nation’s 4-year-old economic slump continued to weigh on the already weak market.
The Japanese government announced an economic stimulus plan Tuesday, but investors found little new or encouraging in it.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 11.45 points, or 0.94 percent, to 1.203.53. It had slipped 15.50 points, or 1.26 percent, to 1,214.98 the previous day.
An estimated 230 million shares changed hands on the first section, down from Tuesday’s 295 million. Declines outnumbered advances 737 to 262, with 169 issues unchanged.
In late afternoon currency trading, the dollar was quoted at 84.18 yen, up 0.04 yen from late afternoon Tuesday.
Traders said Japan’s central bank bought dollars to try to stop the U.S. currency from falling after it slid to 83.80 yen in the morning.
The dollar bounced back after a Japanese news agency reported that Koichi Kato, chairman of the policy research council of the Liberal Democratic Party, said Japan’s government could accept a numerical target for reducing the nation’s trade surplus, traders said.
Kato made the remarks in a speech to members of a study group sponsored by Kyodo News Service, his aide said.
He said that setting a specific target for cutting the surplus will be included in policy plans to be compiled Friday by the LDP and its two partners in the governing coalition.
Japan’s large trade surplus has been a major factor in the rise of the yen. The surplus hit a record $145.8 billion last year, according to Japanese government figures, and other nations have been urging action to trim it.
The price of the benchmark No. 174 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 114.25 yen, down 0.42 yen from Tuesday’s finish. Their yield rose to 2.670 percent from 2.620 percent. s rbv4 dsa nothing sent