Share Prices Down; Dollar Also Down
TOKYO (AP) _ Continued uncertainty over the Middle East sent share prices falling for the fourth consecutive trading day in Tokyo today, and the U.S. dollar fell against the Japanese yen.
The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 selected issues gained moderately in the morning but dropped in light afternoon trading, closing at 26,297.84 points, down 192.63 points, or 0.73 percent. The index fell 296.25 points on Monday.
Yoshihide Koyama, an analyst with Nikko Securities, said share prices moved up because of purchases by investment trust funds in the morning, but suffered from sporadic arbitrage selling in the afternoon.
″The index was easily affected by a thin trading volume,″ Koyama said.
A total of 280 million shares changed hands on the market’s first section, up slightly from Monday’s slim 206 million shares.
The Nikkei index has lost a total of 4,540.15 points, or 14.7 percent, since its closing of 30,837.99 on Aug. 1, the day before the Middle East crisis began with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
In currency dealings, the dollar closed at 146.55 yen, down 0.92 yen from Monday’s finish. It opened at 146.30 yen and ranged between 146.10 yen and 147.08 yen.
Currency dealers said the dollar’s retreat followed its downswing against the yen in New York overnight, although it was mostly higher against other major currencies.
″The sentiment toward the dollar basically remains weak in relation to the yen, with the day’s trading mostly focused on cross trading,″ in which traders sell European currencies to buy the yen, said Masahiro Yanagida, a dealer with Sanwa Bank.
Yanagida said the dollar could be affected either way by developments in the Middle East.
On the bond market, the price of benchmark No. 119 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 83.22 points, down from their 83.33-point closing Monday. Their yield stood at 8.060 percent, up from 8.030 percent.
Meanwhile, Persian Gulf oil prices moved slightly higher. Dubai Fateh crude for October delivery was valued at about $25.70-$25.80 a barrel, marginally higher than late Monday New York levels.
Prices for October delivery of North Sea Brent were $27.70-$27.85 a barrel, higher than the $27.40 quoted late Monday in New York.