Dollar Down Against Yen in Tokyo Trading
TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar finished lower against the Japanese yen on Friday, while share prices rose moderately.
The dollar closed at 135.85 yen, down 0.80 yen from Thursday’s close of 136.65 yen and also below its overnight finish at 136.20 yen. After opening at 135.85 yen, it ranged between 135.70 yen and 136.04 yen.
On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Nikkei Stock Average added 157.31 points, or 0.60 percent, closing the week at 26,582.50. On Thursday the average gained 156.33 points.
Volume on the market’s first section was estimated at 360 million shares, up from Thursday’s 320 million shares.
The benchmark North Sea Brent crude oil for June delivery was traded at $18.85-$18.90 a barrel at midafternoon, little changed from overnight closing levels in New York.
In bond dealings, the price of benchmark No. 129 10-year Japanese government bonds stood at 98.16 points, up from the previous day’s 97.94-point finish. Their yield fell to 6.730 percent from 6.770 percent.
Kan Sugita, a dealer with the Bank of Tokyo, said the dollar remained in a narrow range with few customers.
″It’s like the door is open, but practically no business is being done inside,″ Sugita said.
He said traders are waiting for the release of the U.S. consumer price index for March, due out later Friday in Washington.
The dollar’s lower start followed its decline in New York on anticipation that the Federal Reserve Board would move to lower interest rates. Lower interest rates tend to push the dollar down by making dollar-denominated securities less valuable to investors.
Fresh American economic data, including a decline in inflation and a greater-than-expected drop in retail sales, were seen as encouraging the Fed to lower interest rates, traders said.
Securities dealers said the Nikkei index continued to rise on small-lot buying in thin trading.
The market overall held a wait-and-see mood in the absence of fresh incentives, said Naoto Kanazawa of Taiheiyo Securities.