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Dollar Recover Slightly From Record Lows, Stocks Decline

February 24, 1993

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar rose against the yen after reaching record lows against the Japanese currency for each of the past three sessions. Share prices slipped on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The dollar closed at 116.93 yen, up 0.15 yen from Tuesday’s close but below its overnight New York finish of 117.05 yen.

In the previous three trading days, it had fallen a total of 3.19 yen, closing Tuesday at 116.78 yen, its lowest Tokyo finish since modern exchange rates were set in the late 1940s.

After opening today at 117.37 yen, it ranged between 116.80 yen and 117.50 yen. Spot trading totaled $6.38 billion, down from Tuesday’s $9.21 billion.

Hideyuki Muto, a dealer with Citibank in Tokyo, said the yen’s recent surge against the dollar seemed to have peaked for the time being, at least until Saturday’s meeting of finance officials from the Group of Seven industrialized nations.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada are to meet in London.

Finance Minister Yoshiro Hayashi told a lower house Budget Committee session that the yen’s recent rise will be a topic at that meeting. But he denied that there was any kind of pressure from the United States to push the yen up to help reduce Japan’s huge trade surplus.

The yen has surged about 7 percent against the dollar since the beginning of this month on speculation that the Group of Seven would agree to push the yen higher.

A stronger yen would make foreign goods less expensive in Japan, while making Japanese exports more expensive abroad. Some economists say, however, that amid Japan’s current slump, the nation would not be likely to import more when a higher yen is hurting its exports.

Japan’s trade surplus with the United States alone totaled $49.4 billion in 1992, up $6 billion from the previous year, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures.

Meanwhile, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 64.21 points, or 0.38 percent, closing at 16,798.94 points. On Tuesday, it had gained 42.54 points, or 0.25 percent.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 6.03 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,275.28. It had lost 2.60 points, or 0.20 percent, on Tuesday.

An estimated 220 million shares changed hands, up from Tuesday’s 211 million. Declines outnumbered advances 600 to 288, with 227 issues unchanged.

Shigeki Sato, an analyst with Okasan Securities, said investors remained cautious, looking for signs of the yen’s long-term direction against the dollar.

The price of the benchmark No. 145 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 111.50 points, up from Tuesday’s 110.46-point finish. Their yield fell to 3.790 percent from 3.930 percent.

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