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Japan Stocks Rise in Light Trading

February 16, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ The Tokyo stock market’s main index edged higher early Wednesday in light trading. The dollar was lower against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 11.03 points, or 0.06 percent, to 19,378.86 in the first 30 minutes of trading. On Tuesday, the average closed down 188.63 points, or 0.96 percent.

The dollar bought 109.10 yen, down 0.06 yen from late Tuesday in Tokyo and also below its late New York level of 109.05 yen.

On the stock market, traders said the Nikkei was moving in a narrow range in the absence of fresh market-moving news.

A report Wednesday in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun financial daily that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s tax panel is considering a new tax system from fiscal 2001 would be weighing on the market, traders said.

The system would tax companies on the basis of sales or amount of capital, rather than income, the report said.

``Such a system would increase the tax burden on corporations and slow down the economic recovery,″ said Hidenori Karaki, general manager at Tokyo-Mitsubishi Personal Securities.

The banking sector rebounded slightly Wednesday after falling for the past eight sessions. Shares had been hit by worries about the possible introduction of a new bank tax by the Tokyo metropolitan government.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 198.25, or 1.9 percent, to 10,718.09 at Tuesday’s close.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 11.58 points, or 0.69 percent, to 1,678.56. The TOPIX closed down 27.27 points, or 1.59 percent, the day before.

In currency dealings, the dollar moved narrowly against the yen as investors looked for new trading incentives.

In other currencies, the euro was quoted at 107.08 yen, down from 107.19 yen late Tuesday in Tokyo.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 1.7950 percent from Tuesday’s finish of 1.8000 percent. Its price rose 0.04 point to 99.18.

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