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Dollar Up, Stocks Close Higher for Second Straight Day

March 14, 1996

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar was narrowly higher against the Japanese yen at mid-afternoon Thursday in Tokyo, while prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose for the second day in a row.

The dollar was faced with buying by players wary of possible Bank of Japan moves to support the U.S. currency and downward pressure from selling by Japanese exporters, traders said.

But market activity was quiet overall ahead of a key German central bank policy meeting later Thursday, said Shuji Takano, a dealer at ABN-AMRO Bank in Tokyo.

Currency market players were waiting to see if the Bundesbank would cut its interest rates at the meeting, Takano said.

The dollar was changing hands at 105.32 yen, up 0.01 yen from its late Tokyo level Wednesday and above its late New York level overnight of 105.10 yen.

On the stock market, the Nikkei Stock Average rose 188.96 points, or 0.96 percent, to close at 19,923.66. On Wednesday, the index had lost 215.57 points, or 1.08 percent.

Arbitrage buying triggered by higher futures prices and buying by public pension funds helped push the index higher, traders said, amid some market optimism that an opposition party may be moving to compromise with the ruling coalition on the nation’s budget.

The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 9.77 points, or 0.64 percent, to finish at 1,533.89. The TOPIX had fallen 11.63 points, or 0.76 percent, the day before.

Opposition New Frontier Party members have been boycotting parliamentary budget committee deliberations for nearly two weeks over a proposed government plan to use taxpayer money to bail out bankrupt housing lenders.

The benchmark No. 182 10-year Japanese government bonds were sold mid-afternoon at 98.86 yen, up from Wednesday’s 98.36-yen close. Their yield was at 3.155 percent, down from 3.225 percent Wednesday.

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