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Tokyo Stocks Higher, Dollar Slips

April 3, 2002

TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo stocks closed higher Wednesday on what traders said was a government-funded stock-buying campaign at the beginning of the country’s fiscal year. The dollar was lower against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed up 196.22 points, or 1.75 percent, at 11,400.71. On Tuesday, it finished ahead 175.79 points, or 1.59 percent.

The dollar bought 132.70 yen at 3 p.m. (1 a.m. EST), down 0.58 yen from late Tuesday and also below its late New York level of 133.39 yen.

In stocks, the Nikkei index started out weak after an overnight slip on Wall Street triggered by lackluster high technology stocks and the conflict in the Middle East.

But the Nikkei index climbed back steadily through the afternoon on what traders suspected was government buying. The government’s pension investment fund is thought to be targeting about 50 billion yen ($379 million) worth of stock purchases by Friday.

Traders said there were no major incentives to spur buying by other investors as Japan rolls into its new fiscal year, which began Monday.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 48.99 points to 10,313.71 at Tuesday’s close. The Nasdaq composite index closed at 1,804.40, down 58.22, or 3.1%.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 15.67 points, or 1.47 percent, to 1,084.36 on Wednesday. The TOPIX closed up 15.23 points, or 1.45 percent, the day before.

In currency dealings, the dollar stayed in a narrow range with many traders sidelined.

The euro was traded at 116.62 yen, down from 117.26 yen late Tuesday in Tokyo.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.3950 percent from Tuesday’s close of 1.3900 percent. Its price slipped 0.04 point to 100.91.

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On the Net:

Japan’s Tokyo Stock Exchange: http://www.tse.or.jp

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