Dollar Up Slightly, Stocks Down
TOKYO (AP) _ Uncertainty over U.S. trade figures due out later in the day kept the dollar within a narrow range in Tokyo today and held down stock prices, traders said.
″Everyone was cautious about taking a direction with the dollar because of the upcoming trade figures,″ said Hajime Sugiyama of the Bank of Tokyo. ″People are unsure what kind of figures to expect. As a result, the dollar could go either way next week.″
U.S. trade figures for May were to be announced later today in Washington.
Traders said the dollar’s overnight gain in New York, reflecting higher U.S. interest rates, helped boost the U.S. currency’s opening in Tokyo to 133.37 yen, up 0.42 yen from Thursday’s close.
The dollar then stayed within a narrow range throughout the day, ending the week at 133.40 yen, up 0.45 yen from Thursday’s final figure. Spot volume was estimated at 5.9 billion dollars.
On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the 225-share Nikkei Stock Average first rose, then dropped as participants took to the sidelines to await the trade figures, a trader at Daiwa Securities said.
″With little demand for new purchases, prices began falling almost across the board,″ he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Nikkei index, which gained 63.98 points Thursday, lost 170.29 points or 0.6 percent, closing at 27,913.79. Volume on the market’s first section was estimated at a light 2 billion shares, down slightly from Thursday’s 2.2 billion shares.