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Tokyo Stocks End Higher

July 28, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar slipped against the yen Tuesday on news that former Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa was ready to accept the position of finance minister. Tokyo stocks gained on bargain hunting.

The dollar bought 141.68 yen at midafternoon, down 0.66 yen from late Monday in Tokyo and also below its late New York rate of 142.41 yen overnight.

The benchmark Nikkei Stock Average of 225 selected issues gained 170.18 points, or 1.07 percent, closing at 16,113.54. On Monday, the average had lost 417.53 points, or 2.55 percent.

The dollar fell after Kyodo News, quoting an unidentified official in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, reported that Miyazawa was expected to accept Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi’s request to serve as finance minister, traders said.

Earlier in the day, Obuchi, who is almost certain to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, was reported having trouble finding an appropriate finance minister for his new Cabinet, expected to be formed Thursday.

Miyazawa, 78, reportedly declined Obuchi’s initial approach because of his age. Obuchi sought him because Miyazawa, a former Finance Ministry bureaucrat who has been finance minister as well as premier, has long been regarded as an expert in economic affairs.

``Miyazawa is not the best answer, but compared to the other candidates, he’s the best,″ said Takashi Nakauchi, foreign exchange manager at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. He said the report temporarily prompted yen buying.

The report also helped push up prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 8.24 points, or 0.67 percent, to 1,242.22. It had tumbled 24.03 points, or 1.95 percent, the previous day.

Advances outnumbered retreats 662 to 409, with 195 issues unchanged. Volume on the first section was estimated at 345 million shares, down from 378.38 million Monday.

The brokerage sector posted strong gains amid expectations of accelerating business alliances and mergers.

Shares in Daiwa Securities and Sumitomo Bank gained on reports that they will form an alliance in the investment banking business. Daiwa stock was up 27 yen (19 cents) at 613 yen ($4.32), while Sumitomo Bank added 14 yen (10 cents) to 1,335 yen ($9.42).

The two companies were to hold a news conference later Tuesday.

The yield on the benchmark No. 182 10-year Japanese government bond fell to 1.305 percent from Monday’s finish of 1.315 percent, driving its price up to 111.07 yen from 111.00 yen.

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