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Japan Stocks Rise in Early Trading

July 29, 1999

TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese stocks advanced early Thursday as investors snapped up high-technology issues. The dollar was higher against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 132.88 points, or 0.76 percent, to 17,712.79 in the first 30 minutes of trading. On Wednesday, the average closed up 117.19 points, or 0.67 percent.

The dollar bought 115.78 yen, up 0.26 yen from late Wednesday in Tokyo but below its late New York level of 116.12 yen.

On the stock market, prices continued their advance as investors bought high-technology blue chips amid optimistic economic data released earlier in the morning.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry announced that production at Japan’s factories and mines increased 3.0 percent in June from May after adjustment for seasonal factors.

The jump was the highest month-on-month rise since January 1997 and far exceeded economists’ predictions. MITI attributed the increase to economic recovery around Asia.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 10.74 points, or 0.74 percent, to 1,461.07. The TOPIX closed up 16.22 points, or 1.13 percent, the day before.

Despite its strength from late Wednesday in Tokyo, the dollar slid lower from its late New York level, which prompted further warnings from Japan’s Finance Ministry.

Zembei Mizoguchi, head of the ministry’s international bureau, reiterated that Japan would take action to stop any rise in the yen before its economy recovers.

The Bank of Japan has bought dollars in recent weeks to try to stop the yen’s rapid rise and aid the country’s fledgling economic recovery.

Gains in the yen make Japanese exports more costly abroad, and thus less competitive, while cutting the value of foreign revenue in yen terms.

In other currencies, the euro was traded at 12.74 yen, down from 123.54 yen late Wednesday in Tokyo.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.7500 percent from Wednesday’s finish of 1.7000 percent, driving its price down to 100.42 yen from 100.86 yen.

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