TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo stocks advanced Friday morning after a U.S. credit rating agency lowered Japan's sovereign credit rating. The dollar was lower against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 65.16 points, or 0.40 percent, to 16,365.62 at the end of the morning session. On Thursday, the average closed down 99.41 points, or 0.61 percent.

The dollar bought 105.44 yen in late morning trading, down 0.68 yen from late Thursday in Tokyo but above its late New York level of 105.04 yen.

On the stock market, the Nikkei average opened higher after the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index in New York rose 85.01 points Thursday to close at 4,085.35.

The Nikkei index later fell into negative territory temporarily after news that Moody's Investors Service Inc. lowered Japan's sovereign credit rating another notch to Aa2 from Aa1, citing ``policy shortcomings and structural problems''

But the index soon moved back to positive territory toward the morning close as the impact from the Moody's move was short-lived.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 9.80 points, or 0.66 percent, to 1,496.09. The TOPIX closed up 2.05 points, or 0.14 percent, the day before.

In New York on Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 50.77 points to end at 11,259.87.

In currency dealings, the yen edged higher against the dollar on increasing confidence that Japan's economy is emerging from its worst slump in decades.

In other currencies, the euro was at 92.04 yen, up from 91.72 yen late Thursday in Tokyo.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 1.93 percent from Thursday's finish of 1.9350 percent. Its price rose 0.05 point to 98.91.


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