Stocks Up, Dollar Slightly Lower
TOKYO (AP) _ The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s key index rose sharply today on market players’ expectations of a stronger market after the current holiday week, while the dollar edged down against the Japanese yen.
The 225-share Nikkei Stock Average gained 483.81 points, or 1.63 percent, closing at 30,173.64. It was the first time since April 9 that the index, which rose 105.03 points on Tuesday, closed above 30,000 points.
Traders said the yen’s strength against the dollar boosted investors’ optimism.
″Investors had been reassured by the market’s recent stability despite uptrends in overseas interest rates, and now they believe the market will be even stronger after the holidays,″ said a trader with Nomura Securities Co.
Investors usually are reluctant to buy before long weekends, said the trader, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Japan’s financial markets were open only today and Tuesday this week because of the ″Golden Week″ series of national holidays. They will reopen Monday.
An estimated 480 million shares changed hands on the exchange’s first section today, up from 245 million Tuesday.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining issues 773 to 196, while 130 issues remained unchanged.
In currency dealings, the dollar closed at 158.55 yen, down 0.35 yen from Tuesday’s 158.90-yen finish. It opened at 158.62 yen and ranged between 158.35 yen and 158.70 yen.
″Trading was inactive throughout the day,″ said Masanobu Hitomi, a foreign exchange analyst with New Japan Securities Co.
He said market players’ reluctance to increase their dollar positions ahead of the remaining holidays contributed to the dollar’s slide.
″Market players bought the dollar but they soon sold it back,″ he said.
Also depressing the dollar was life insurance companies’ selling of the Canadian dollar agaisnt the yen, Hitomi said.
The price of benchmark No. 119 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 85.91 points, up from Tuesday’s 85.65. Their yield was down to 7.390 percent from the previous day’s close of 7.445 percent.