Stocks Plunge, Dollar Rises
TOKYO (AP) _ The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s major barometer plunged more than 700 points Friday, as the dollar rose against the Japanese yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed at 17,074.27 points, down 730.33 points or 3.88 percent from Thursday’s close at 18,804.60 points.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 47.91 points, or 3.4 percent, to stand at 1,348.82 points as of 3 p.m. (2 a.m. EDT). TOPIX lost 1.49 points, or 0.11 percent, on Thursday.
On the foreign exchange, the dollar was trading at 130.41 yen at 2 p.m. (1 a.m. EDT), up 0.54 yen from Thursday’s close. It opened at 130.48 yen, after finishing overnight in New York at 129.60 yen.
Benchmark No. 129 10-year Japanese government bonds stood at 104.74 points as of 3 p.m. (2 a.m. EDT), down from Thursday’s 105.03-point finish. Their yield rose to 5.530 percent from 5.480 percent.
Stock traders said investors became cautious as the Nikkei approached 19,000 points. On Thursday, the Nikkei gained 36.03 points, or 0.19 percent, and traded above 19,000 points at one point during the day.
″The market is taking a break,″ said Toshiyuki Nishiguchi, a stock dealer at Daiwa Securities Co.
On the foreign exchange, dealers said the dollar’s higher start followed an overnight advance in New York, mostly because of technical factors following Wednesday’s sell-offs.
But they said trading was inactive as investors avoided major moves ahead of the weekend.
Receding expectations for lower U.S. interest rates following a lower-than- expected increase in money supply also contributed to the rebound.
The Federal Reserve Board reported Thursday that money supply rose $10.5 billion during the week ended April 27th, compared with an increased of $5.9 billion reported for the previous week.