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Tokyo Stocks Fall in Early Trading

March 1, 2001

TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo stocks slipped moderately early Thursday despite a move by Japan’s central bank to cut interest rates to shore up the weak economy. The dollar was higher against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 72.02 points, or 0.56 percent, to 12,811.52 at the start of the morning session. On Wednesday, the average closed down 176.32 points, or 1.4 percent.

The dollar was trading at 117.42 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market at 9 a.m. (0000 GMT) Thursday, up 0.98 yen from its level of 116.44 yen late Wednesday.

On the stock market, the Nikkei index continued to fall after sharp drops in U.S. stock prices on Wall Street on Wednesday

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 141.60 points to 10,495.28 at Wednesday’s close. The Nasdaq composite index closed at 2,151.83, down 55.99.

An tumble in U.S. stock prices came after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan effectively dismissed the likelihood of any immediate U.S. interest rate cut.

Greenspan made the comments before the House Financial Services Committee session on Wednesday, saying that the U.S. economy appeared to be stronger in January and February than in November and December.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 4.13 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,237.35 points. The TOPIX closed down 13.41 points, or 1.10 percent, the day before.

In currency dealings, the dollar moved higher against the yen following Greenspan’s comments suggesting the U.S. interest rates will remain at current levels.

Higher interest rates make a nation’s currency more attractive to investors.

In other currencies, the euro was traded at 108.45 yen, up from 107.44 yen late Wednesday in Tokyo.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 1.2750 percent from Wednesday’s finish of 1.3450 percent. Its price rose 0.62 point to 101.10.

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On the Net:

Tokyo Stock Exchange: http://www.tse.or.jp

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