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Dollar Lower, Japanese Stocks Fall

June 25, 1999

TOKYO (AP) _ profit-taking Friday in slim trading. Japanese share prices also fell.

The dollar bought 121.52 yen by late afternoon, down 0.38 yen from late Thursday in Tokyo and also below its late New York level of 121.78 yen overnight. During the day, it ranged from 121.31 yen to 122.10 yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 191.80 points, or 1.09 percent, to close at 17,436.52. On Thursday, the average closed up 41.57 points, or 0.24 percent.

In currency trading, there was no clear agreement on the direction for the dollar, causing most players to stay on the sidelines.

``There are many Japanese exporters who want to sell the dollar for profit-taking near 122 yen,″ said Takayuki Togawa, manager of foreign exchange at Tokai Bank Ltd.

But the dollar was being supported in the other direction by lingering fears of interventions by the Bank of Japan.

The Bank of Japan has intervened four times over the past two-week period to halt recent gains by the yen, which will hamper the Japanese economy’s ability to recover from its worst recession since World War II. A stronger yen makes Japanese exports more expensive abroad.

``No one in the market can be bold enough to continue selling dollars below 121.50 yen,″ said Tetsu Aikawa, senior trader at Sanwa Bank Ltd. ``Almost everyone thinks the BOJ will again step in below that level.″

In other currencies, the euro was traded at 127.09 yen, up from 126.30 yen late Thursday in Tokyo.

On the stock market, investors sold shares of banks and technology companies following the overnight steep fall in New York, where the Dow Jones industrial average fell 132.03, or 1.2 percent, to 10,534.83.

The broader Tokyo Stock Exchange of all issues listed on the first section fell 1.72 points, or 0.12 percent, to 1,409.41. The TOPIX closed up 1.95 points, or 0.14 percent, the day before.

Volume on the exchange’s first section was about 468.4 million, down from 554.2 million the previous day. Retreating issues outnumbered advancers 822 to 371, while 131 issues were unchanged.

The yield on the benchmark No. 213 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.7700 percent from Thursday’s finish of 1.6950 percent, driving its price down to 100.25 yen from 100.91 yen.

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