Stocks Continue to Fall, Dollar Rises
TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo share prices slid in light trading today in response to indications of higher future oil prices and reports of poor corporate earnings, traders said. The dollar gained against the Japanese yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 382.08 points, or 2.10 percent, closing at 17,822.56. On Tuesday, the average shed 350.36 points, or 1.89 percent, closing at 18,204.64.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section, which fell 11.87 points, or 0.86 percent, the previous day, declined another 19.22 points, or 1.40 percent, to 1,352.61.
An estimated 300 million shares changed hands, up from Tuesday’s 209 million. Declining issues outnumbered advances 865 to 136, with 120 issues unchanged.
Traders said the Nikkei average continued to decline on intermittent arbitrage selling all day as investors failed to find any incentives to buy following worse-than-expected earnings reports over the past few weeks. The company reports cover the fiscal year ended March 31.
In arbitrage trading, investors seek profits from price gaps between the spot and futures markets.
The Tokyo market started lower following an overnight fall on Wall Street, spurred by a report that Saudi Arabia might be ready to see the price of crude oil rise by as much as $3 a barrel.
″Many investors are scrutinizing the report,″ said Hirotsugu Ishii, an equity analyst with Yamatane Securities.
At midafternoon, North Sea Brent Crude oil for July delivery was being traded at $20.50-.60 a barrel in Tokyo, lower than its overnight closing at $20.60-.65 in London. It closed last Friday’s London trading at $19.70-.72.
Financial markets were closed Monday for a national holiday in Britain.
The dollar closed at 129.78 yen, up 0.63 yen from Tuesday’s close and also higher that its overnight New York finish of 129.45 yen.
After opening at 129.53 yen, it ranged between 129.51 yen and 129.88 yen. Spot trading totaled $6.12 billion, up from Tuesday’s $4.53 billion.
Masamichi Yasuda, a dealer with the Bank of Tokyo, said the reported Saudi move encouraged yen-selling.
″It also brought out a dollar-buying mood in the United States on the assumption that U.S. interest rates would stay put because of fears of inflation,″ Yasuda said.
The benchmark No. 129 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 104.41 points, down from Tuesday’s 104.81-point finish. Their yield rose to 5.585 percent from 5.515 percent.