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Tokyo Stocks Up in Early Trading

May 18, 1999

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar rose against the yen early Tuesday ahead of a two-day meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Open Markets Committee. Japanese stocks edged higher.

The dollar bought 123.62 yen in early trading, up 0.48 yen from late Monday in Tokyo and also above its late New York level of 123.49 yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 12.75 points, or 0.08 percent, to 16,433.77 in the first 30 minutes of trading. On Monday, the average shed 389.37 points, or 2.3 percent.

In currency dealings, the dollar posted moderate gains against the Japanese currency as players waited to see if the Fed would signal any bias toward tightening monetary policy.

The FOMC meets for two days starting Tuesday.

``The consensus seems to be that the Fed won’t take any action this time. If markets confirm that there isn’t any significant change, the dollar could be sold a bit in a quick, short-lived reaction,″ said Kazuo Watanabe, deputy general manager of the treasury department at Sumitomo Bank.

The Bank of Japan’s policy board is also meeting Tuesday, but with no expectation or fear of a change in monetary policy, traders said.

In other currencies, the euro was traded at 131.72 yen, up from 131.27 yen late Monday in Tokyo.

On the stock market, most investors were retreating to the sidelines as they waited for the outcome of the FOMC meeting.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 2.58 points, or 0.19 percent, to 1,325.01. The TOPIX closed down 25.02 points, or 1.9 percent, the day before.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 59.85 points to 10,853.47 at Monday’s close.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.245 percent from Monday’s finish of 1.230 percent, driving its price down to 102.28 yen from 102.42 yen.

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