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Stocks, dollar higher in Tokyo

October 8, 1997

TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo stock prices rose today, boosted by the favorable debut listing of a part of Japan’s former state run national railway. The dollar gained against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 107.99 points, or 0.62 percent, closing at 17,619.18. On Tuesday, the index had lost 313.59 points, or 1.76 percent.

The Tokyo stock market ``firmed on the strength of JR Tokai’s listing,″ said Dhia Amir, senior institutional sales trader at Nomura Securities.

JR Tokai is one of six companies spun off from the 1987 break-up of Japan’s national railway system. Based in Nagoya, it operates the Tokaido ``bullet train″ line that connects Tokyo and Osaka.

It became the third listed Japan Railway company after East Japan Railway Co. and West Japan Railway Co.

Shares in JR Tokai ended their first day of trading at 385,000 yen ($3,149) _ slightly below market expectations but up 7.2 percent from the fixed price in the initial public offer.

Traders also said buying in high technology blue chips by domestic institutional investors and dealers boosted prices.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 3.14 points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,377.96. It had fallen 16.24 points, or 1.17 percent, the previous day.

Volume on the First Section was estimated at 300 million shares, down from 370.97 million Tuesday. Advances outpaced retreats 541 to 519, while 190 issues were unchanged.

On the foreign exchange market, the dollar remained in its recent range against the yen amid a lack of market-moving news.

In late afternoon, the dollar was changing hands at 122.26 yen, up 0.43 yen from late Tuesday in Tokyo but below its late New York level of 122.56 yen overnight.

But traders remained wary that Japanese officials still may try to influence the market with various statements to curb the dollar’s recent strength. The high dollar, which tends to make Japanese products cheaper in the United States and American products higher here, could become a source of friction if Japan’s trade surplus continues to rise.

Trades ranged between 122.01 and 122.45 yen today.

The yield on the benchmark No. 182 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.750 percent from 1.720 percent Tuesday, driving its price down to 108.70 from 108.93 yen.

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