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Share Prices Fall, Dollar Inches Down

August 23, 1991

TOKYO (AP) _ Stock prices retreated Friday morning from three days of advances and the dollar slipped against the yen as investors’ attention turned away from the Soviet Union.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 240.69 points, or 1.07 percent, closing the morning session at 22,275.08. Early in the afternoon session, the index was off about 350 points.

In the three previous trading days, the market’s main barometer gained 1,059.01 points. The market had regained much of its 6 percent drop Monday following word of the attempted Soviet coup.

At late morning, the dollar was changing hands at 136.57 yen, down 0.18 yen from Thursday’s close. It opened at 136.67 yen after finishing in New York overnight at 136.60 yen.

The dollar was trading at 1.7350 German marks, up from Thursday’s close at 1.7453 marks.

Benchmark No. 129 10-year Japanese government bonds slipped to 99.88 points by midday from Thursday’s 99.83-point finish. Their yield stood at 6.420 percent, down from 6.430 percent.

In addition to profit-taking after the three-day rise, investors’ interest has returned to domestic issues, traders said.

″Investors’ attention again is focused on parliamentary debate″ on Japan’s brokerage scandal, said Akihide Saito of Sanyo Securities.

Two of the former top officials of Nomura and Nikko Securities Co. are to be called in to testify before a parliamentary committee next week.

In the scandal, brokerages have admitted to having compensated hundreds of favored clients for their investment losses. The compensation is not illegal unless promised in advance, but it violated a 1989 Finance Ministry directive.

The ministry said it was drafting penalties to ban the practice.

On the foreign exchange market, the dollar stayed in a narrow range as traders adjusted their currency positions before the weekend and a bank holiday in London next Monday, said Naozumi Tsutsumi, a dealer with Daiwa Bank.

Tsutsumi and other dealers said market players were shifting their focus from the Soviet situation to U.S. economic conditions.

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