Tokyo Stocks Rise
TOKYO (AP) _ Tokyo’s main stock index hit a 27-month high Wednesday morning amid optimism over Japan’s economy. The dollar fell against the yen.
The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 150.54 points, or 0.80 percent, to 18,972.66 points at the end of the morning session. On Monday, the average closed up 251.28 points, or 1.35 percent.
The dollar bought 104.62 yen in late morning, down 1.34 yen from late Monday in Tokyo but above its late New York level of 104.14 yen.
Financial markets in Tokyo were closed Tuesday for a Japanese national holiday.
In stock trading, the Nikkei index started slightly lower on profit-taking following recent gains, but quickly moved into positive territory on buying of blue chips.
Monday’s close of 18,822.12 points was the Nikkei’s highest since it hit 19,157.12 points on Aug. 21, 1997. The index had surpassed that at midday, with half a trading day left to go.
Recent gains in the Japanese stocks came amid expectations that Japan’s economy was improving.
In New York Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 93.89 points to 10,995.63. The technology-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 49.71 points to 3,342.85 at Tuesday’s finish.
The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 21.72 points, or 1.31 percent, to 1,683.69 points. The TOPIX closed up 19.30 points, or 1.17 percent, on Monday.
In currency dealings, the dollar was higher in Tokyo compared to its level in New York as investors covered short, or oversold, dollar positions, traders said.
Japan’s Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa told a regular news conference Wednesday that the ministry is ready to take action to curb the yen’s rise if necessary.
In other currencies, the euro was traded at 107.44 yen, down from 109.04 yen late Monday in Tokyo.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.8900 percent from Monday’s finish of 1.8750 percent. Its price fell 0.13 percent to 99.23.