Dollar, Stocks Fall
TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar slid against the Japanese yen today after a four-day climb, while share prices also fell.
The dollar closed at 104.55 yen, down 1.00 yen from Friday’s close and also below its New York finish Friday of 104.60 yen. It opened at 104.77 yen and stayed in a narrow range between 104.47 yen and 104.82 yen.
The dollar had gained a total of 1.65 yen over the previous four trading days in Tokyo, thanks largely to intervention by Japan’s central bank to support the U.S. currency.
But then it fell in New York on a discouraging U.S. Labor Department report released Friday.
An unexpected drop of 39,000 jobs on the manufacturing sector payroll in August convinced investors that U.S. interest rates would remain lower, currency dealers said.
Lower interest rates tend to weaken a nation’s currency against others. But expectations that Japan’s central bank also would lower its key lending rate soon kept investors away from active yen-buying, a Mitsubishi Bank dealer said.
An absence of fresh market-affecting news kept trading slim today. Spot trading fell to $5.263 billion from $6.159 billion Friday.
On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed at 21,060.81 points, down 55.40 points, or 0.26 percent, from Friday’s close of 21,116.21. On Friday, it had climbed 133.01 points, or 0.63 percent, to its highest closing this year.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section closed at 1,696.91 points, down 1.76 points, or 0.10 percent, from Friday’s finish of 1,698.67. On Friday, it had gained 4.69 points, or 0.28 percent.
Prices advanced initially on expectations that the Bank of Japan would cut its key interest rate later this month to bolster the sagging economy.
Major Japanese newspapers reported over the weekend that the central bank would lower its official discount rate, the interest it charges on loans to commercial banks.
But the market’s major barometer fell toward the end of the trading day on aggressive profit-taking, dealers said.
″We have to be happy that the index kept 21,000 considering the sluggish volume,″ said Phillipe Huber, a senior trader at UBS Securities.
Turnover slipped to its lowest in a week and a half, with volume on the first section at 250 million shares, down sharply from 471.59 million Friday.
Retreating issues outnumbered advances 499 to 472, while 220 issues remained unchanged.
The price of the benchmark No. 145 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 109.78 yen, up 0.45 yen from Friday’s close of 109.33 yen. The yield fell by 0.065 percentage point to 3.960 percent from 4.025 percent.