Dollar Down, Stocks Up
TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar fell against the Japanese yen Thursday, while share prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained slightly.
The dollar closed at 135.63 yen, down 0.92 yen from Wednesday’s close of 136.55 yen. It also was lower than its overnight finish at 135.70 yen in New York. After opening at 135.45 yen, the currency ranged between 135.25 yen and 135.73 yen.
The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 selected issues added 14.97 points, or 0.06 percent, closing at 26,397.96. On Wednesday, the index gained 469.51 points, or 1.81 percent.
In bond dealings, the price of the benchmark No. 129 10-year Japanese government bonds rose to 98.98 points from the previous day’s 98.87-point close. Their yield fell to 6.580 percent from 6.600 percent.
Masashi Serizawa, a dealer with Sanwa Bank, said currency trading had been slowing down during the morning with a lack of market-affecting news.
The dollar’s lower opening followed its downswing on profit-taking in New York, where it had risen after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the recession was not deepening and the economy might improve in coming months.
Minori Takeuchi, a dealer with Chemical Bank, said the dollar was in an uptrend with strong demand from optimistic investors who think the U.S. economy will recover soon.
Other dealers said many investors were avoiding major moves prior to the release Friday of U.S. unemployment figures for February.
On the stock exchange, the Nikkei index started higher amid a general wait- and-see mood because Thursday was the last day of trading for March stock- futures contracts, stock traders said.
Shinichiro Koyama of Nomura Securities said in addition to an overnight advance on Wall Street, the yen’s strength against the dollar and firming bond prices contributed to the index’s continued rise.
The benchmark North Sea Brent crude oil for April delivery stood at $19.30 a barrel at mid-morning, unchanged from overnight closing levels in New York.