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Tokyo Stocks Gain Moderately

April 15, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar edged lower against the yen Wednesday morning as traders awaited the outcome later in the day of a meeting of world finance ministers in Washington. Tokyo share prices rose moderately.

The dollar bought 129.29 yen in late morning, down 0.18 yen from late Tuesday in Tokyo and also below its late New York level of 129.55 yen.

Traders said while U.S. hedge funds continued to sell dollars, Japanese importers and trust funds bought dollars back on dips, offsetting downward pressure on the currency.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations were scheduled to gather in Washington Wednesday to discuss global finance issues, including Japan’s weak economy.

Haruhiko Kuroda, director of the international finance bureau of Japan’s Finance Ministry, cautioned Wednesday morning that players should pay attention to the results of the G-7 meeting.

``We have no option but to wait and see.″ said Takayuki Togawa, manager of foreign exchange at Tokai Bank Ltd. in Tokyo.

Remarks by U.S. and German financial officials on Tuesday drove down the dollar by fueling speculation of possible central bank intervention, traders said.

Meanwhile, a rise on Wall Street and the yen’s slight advance combined to encourage investors on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, helping the market’s main index rebound slightly after falling three trading days in a row.

The benchmark Nikkei Stock Average rose 104.25 points, or 0.64 percent, to 16,381.57 at the end of the morning session. On Tuesday, the index lost 40.26 points, or 0.25 percent.

The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 3.94 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,246.54. The TOPIX slipped 0.31 point, or 0.02 percent, the day before.

The yield on the benchmark No. 182 10-year Japanese government bond stood at 1.560 percent, unchanged from Tuesday’s close, while its price was quoted at 109.57, marginally down from 109.58.

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