Nikkei Gains, Dollar Unchanged
TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo share prices rallied strongly Wednesday in thin trading, while the dollar closed unchanged against the yen.
On the stock exchange, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 521.30 points, or 2.3 percent, to stand at 23,393.30 at the close of trading. Volume was light at 180 million shares on the first section.
On Tuesday, the Nikkei fell 113.67 points, or 0.49 percent, closing at 22,872.00.
The dollar closed at 136.40, unchanged from Tuesday’s close. After opening at 136.33 yen, it ranged from 136.31 to 136.43.
Brokers said the stock market’s most closely watched barometer rose on positive trade surplus figures released Tuesday, expectations of lower interest rates, and the strong futures market.
The Nikkei fell on Tuesday in reaction to rumors about troubles among Japan’s small banking institutions. But the market became oversold, leading to a recovery Wednesday based on arbitrage buying and a bond market that firmed on low interest rate hopes, said Tatsuhiko Takahashi, general manager at Kleinwort Benson International Inc.
″It was basically a technical bounce,″ he said.
The Nikkei had fallen a total of 610.46 points over the last four trading days in slim trading as many traders were on vacation this week in observance of Bon, a Buddhist holiday.
Wednesday’s trading was also thin, chalking up the ninth day in a row that turnover on the first section was below 200 million shares.
″Only small orders are coming to market,″ said Hidetada Yoshida, a trader at Kidder Peabody International Corp.
The market has suffered recently from several financial scandals involving securities firms and banks, the most recent one unfolding Tuesday with the arrest of a former bank manager on suspicion of forging deposit certificates.
Currency dealers said trading was slim with most investors waiting for a decision on German interest rates at the Bundesbank meeting Thursday.
Benchmark No. 129 10-year Japanese government bonds rose to 99.83 points as of 3 p.m., up from Tuesday’s 99.66-point finish. Their yield fell to 6.430 percent from 6.460 percent.