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Tokyo Stocks End Slightly Lower

December 27, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar extended a 16-month high against the yen Wednesday, following the release of weaker-than-expected Japanese industrial output. Tokyo stocks ended slightly lower.

The dollar bought 114.18 yen at 3 p.m. (1 a.m. EST), up 0.88 yen from late Tuesday in Tokyo and also above its overnight level of 113.63 yen late in New York.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 26.36 points, or 0.19 percent, to close at 13,981.49. On Tuesday, the average finished up 76.24 points, or 0.55 percent.

In currency dealings, the dollar built on an overnight 16-month high against the yen after Japan said Wednesday that its industrial output fell 0.8 percent in November from the previous month.

The drop was steeper than expected and weighed on the yen, which has come under selling pressure in recent weeks as evidence mounts that Japan’s economic rebound is losing steam.

The U.S. currency last bought 114 yen in Tokyo on Aug. 18 of last year.

On the stock market, the Nikkei index slumped, bogged down by declining technology and banking shares.

The weak industrial output figures and an overnight slip in the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index in New York triggered widespread selling, traders said. The Nasdaq fell 23.50 points to 2,493.52 on Tuesday, though the Dow Jones industrial average gained 56.88 points to 10,692.44.

By the close, however, the Nikkei had recouped most of its losses, thanks to buying of tech stocks by new investment trust funds, which normally buy a wide array of stocks.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section slipped 3.69 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,293.95. The TOPIX closed down 0.17 point, insignificant in percentage terms, the day before.

In other currencies, the euro was quoted at 106.02 yen, up from 105.18 yen late Tuesday in Tokyo.

Also at 3 p.m. the yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond was down 0.02 point to 1.585 percent. Its price was up 0.17 to 101.84.

Update hourly