TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar was lower against the yen at midday Thursday on profit-taking. Japanese stock prices advanced.

The dollar bought 121.46 yen at midday, down 0.16 yen from late Wednesday in Tokyo and also below its level of 121.80 yen in New York.

The Nikkei Stock Average rose 63.52 points, or 0.44 percent, ending the morning session at 14,418.97. On Wednesday, the average closed down 145.20 points, or 1 percent.

In currency dealings, the dollar fell back as U.S. funds and Japanese investment trusts took profits after the currency's gain sparked by comments from U.S. Treasury officials, traders said.

U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said in Seoul that the Japanese economy is ``still very troubling'' and urged Tokyo to take effective steps to generate strong domestic demand-led growth.

Summers was en route for Tokyo, where he was to participate in a financial meeting.

On Wednesday in Washington, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said Japan is ``still in a recessionary mode.''

Traders said the dollar's rise, which was triggered by the comments, then prompted dollar-selling to take profits.

The euro was traded at 133.74 yen, up from 133.23 yen late Wednesday in Tokyo.

On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, share prices started higher on expectations the United States will pressure Japan to do more to stimulate its economy.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section added 2.77 points, or 0.25 percent, to 1,123.06. The TOPIX closed up 2.52 points, or 0.23 percent, the day before.

The yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond stood at 1.880 percent, unchanged from Wednesday's finish. Its price remained at 99.36 yen.