Dollar Up Against Yen, Stocks Fall
TOKYO (AP) _ The U.S. dollar rose today against the Japanese yen in Tokyo despite yen- buying by the central bank, while stock prices fell moderately, traders said.
The dollar ended the week at 143.50 yen, up 0.45 yen from Thursday’s close of 143.05 yen. After opening at 143.25 yen, the day’s low, the currency ranged as high as 143.65 yen.
″Despite market intervention by the central bank, the dollar continued to rise gradually throughout the day,″ said Naoto Kawamura, a senior dealer with the Bank of Tokyo.
The Bank of Japan stepped into the market at around 143.30 yen during the morning session in an attempt to stem the dollar’s up-swing, but with little effect, dealers said. The bank usually does not comment officially on its market interventions.
Kawamura said market players were waiting for the release of U.S. wholesale price figures due out later Friday. ″The U.S. Federal Reserve could ease its monetary policy further if prices show a decline,″ he said.
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board lowered its federal fund rate, a short-term interest rate, by 0.25 percentage points to 9.5 percent on Wednesday.
On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed at 33,639.98, down 78.31 points or 0.23 percent. The index had gained 91.40 points on Thursday.
Yozo Asai of Yamaichi Securities, a major Japanese brokerage, attributed the decline in the index to continuing uncertainty over the situation in China and somewhat unstable exchange rates.
″With such factors, investors were unable to be positive,″ Asai said.
Volume traded on the market’s first section was estimated at 500 million shares, down from Thursday’s 650 million shares.