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Japan Stocks Slip in Early Trading

December 11, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese stocks fell in early trading Friday following a drop on Wall Street, while the dollar rose against the yen.

The Nikkei Stock Average lost 168.72 points, or 1.14 percent, to 14,639.08 in the first 30 minutes of trading. On Thursday, the index lost 124.10 points, or 0.83 percent.

The dollar bought 117.32 yen, up 0.26 yen from late Thursday in Tokyo but marginally below its level of 117.33 yen in New York.

Traders said Japanese stocks fell following a drop on Wall Street earlier as well as selling here Friday related to the December futures settlement, known as the special quotation.

In New York on Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 167.61 points to 8,841.58.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 4.15 points, or 0.36 percent, to 1,135.63. The TOPIX lost 0.96 points, or 0.08 percent, the previous day.

On the foreign exchange market, the dollar was higher as Japanese interbank players bought the U.S. currency to cover short, or oversold, positions, traders said.

But the weakness in U.S. stocks and lingering concerns over financial problems in Latin America are discouraging investors from aggressively building up dollar positions, they said.

The yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 1.160 percent from Thursday’s finish of 1.180 percent, driving its price up to 105.47 yen from 105.29 yen.

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