Dollar, Stocks End Week Higher
TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar held its ground against the yen today after slipping from its opening level. Share prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange inched up.
The dollar ended the week at 98.30 yen, up 0.11 yen from Thursday’s Tokyo close and below its overnight New York finish of 98.60 yen. It opened at 98.43 yen and ranged between 98.20 yen and 98.50 yen.
Today’s spot trading totaled $3.943 billion, down from Thursday’s $4.576 billion.
Pushed up by buying from Japanese investment trusts, the currency hit the day’s high in the morning, but gradually slipped back as players sold it to adjust their positions ahead of the weekend, said Ryoko Kawashima, a Citibank dealer in Tokyo.
Many players remained on the sidelines awaiting the release later today of U.S. industrial production and capacity utilization data for June, a closely watched economic indicator.
Foreign investors’ buying to cover their oversold dollar positions just above 98 yen kept the currency from falling further, Kawashima said.
The dollar had fallen 7 yen against the yen over the last three weeks, setting new postwar lows, based partly on a perception that Washington favored a higher yen to help reduce its trade deficit with Japan.
Earlier in the day, Japan’s Trade Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto told a regular news conference that he had requested Finance Minister Masayoshi Takemura and Bank of Japan officials to take steps to fight the yen’s rapid rise and that the efforts is more important than additional economic measures.
On the stock market, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 52.11 points, or 0.25 percent, closing at 20,770.15. On Thursday, the average closed at 20,718.04 points, up 177.63 points or 0.86 percent.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 3.95 percent, or 0.24 percent, to 1,668.47. The TOPIX was up 9.99 points, or 0.60 percent, to 1,664.52 the day before.
Stocks edged higher as players were encouraged by signs of stability in the currency market. But the Nikkei narrowed its earlier gains in the afternoon because of profit-taking ahead of the weekend, traders said.
A higher yen tends to squeeze the earnings of export-dependent Japanese companies.
First section volume was estimated at 290 million shares, down slightly from 293 million shares Thursday. Advancing issues outnumbered losers 579 to 393, with 200 unchanged.
The benchmark No. 164 10-year Japanese government bonds closed at 98.39 yen, up 0.32 yen from Thursday’s close. Their yield slipped by 0.050 percentage point to 4.340 percent.