TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese stock prices declined early Thursday on follow-through selling after a sharp drop in the previous session. The dollar rose against the yen.

The Nikkei Stock Average shed 85.54 points, or 0.56 percent, to 15,158.30 points at the end of the morning trading session. On Wednesday, the average closed down 357.26 points, or 2.29 percent.

More bleak corporate earnings projections and bearish comments by Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party secretary general, Koichi Kato, continued to weigh on the market, traders said.

``The market mood is weak amid various negative factors,'' said Takeshi Kubota, general manager at Meiko Securities Co.

Declining issues included shares of major auto makers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and blue chip electronics manufacturers such as Sony Corp.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section lost 12.22 points, or 1.02 percent, to 1,188.44. The TOPIX closed down 17.04 points, or 1.40 percent Wednesday.

The dollar bought 133.23 yen, up 0.87 yen from late in Tokyo on Wednesday and also above its late New York rate of 133.18 yen.

Continued weakness on the Tokyo Stock Exchange bolstered interest in the U.S. currency, traders said.

Traders said, however, the dollar may face upward resistance at around 133.50 yen on selling pressure from Japanese exporters as well as fears of yen-buying intervention by Japan's central bank.

Meanwhile, the yield on the benchmark No. 182 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 1.380 percent from Wednesday's finish of 1.400 percent, driving its price up to 110.82 from 110.67.