TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo stocks posted moderate gains in early trading Wednesday amid expectations that Japan's new leader will implement economic reforms. The U.S. dollar was higher against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 56.11 points, or 0.41 percent, to 13,799.29 at the start of the morning session.

The dollar bought 122.46 yen in early trading, up 1.22 yen from late Tuesday in Tokyo and also above its late New York level of 122.17 yen overnight.

On the stock market, the Nikkei advanced as investors hope Junichiro Koizumi, known as a reformer, will carry out structural reform of the economy after he is elected prime minister Thursday by the ruling party-dominated Parliament.

On Tuesday, Koizumi defeated three other candidates for the Liberal Democratic Party presidency.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 77.89 points to 10,454.34 at Tuesday's close. The Nasdaq composite index ended at 2,016.61, down 42.71.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 4.94 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,332.94 Wednesday. The TOPIX closed down 3.31 points, or 0.25 percent, the day before.

In currency dealings, the dollar traded in line with its overnight strength in New York.

In other currencies, the euro was traded at 109.32 yen, up from 109.00 yen late Tuesday in Tokyo.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.3200 percent from Tuesday's finish of 1.3150 percent. Its price fell 0.05 point to 100.69.

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