Stock Prices Bounce Back, Dollar Weakens
TOKYO (AP) _ Share prices firmed in relatively active trading Thursday, while the dollar finished lower against the Japanese yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 96.96 points, or 0.43 percent, closing at 22,499.65. On Wednesday, the average fell 67.11 points, or 0.30 percent.
Volume on the market’s first section was estimated at 450 million shares, up from Wednesday’s 350 million shares.
The dollar closed at 135.32 yen, down 0.53 yen from Wednesday’s close and below its overnight finish at 135.50 yen in New York. After opening at 135.25 yen, it ranged between 135.07 yen and 135.53 yen.
In bond dealings, the benchmark No. 129 10-year Japanese government bonds stood at 100.72 points as of 3 p.m. (2 a.m. EDT), up from Wednesday’s 100.66- point finish. Their yield fell to 6.270 percent from 6.280 percent.
Akihide Saito of the stock information department with Sanyo Securities said the Nikkei index was firming on expectations that interest rates would be lowered in both Japan and the United States.
Continued active buying by foreign investors was also supporting the market’s main index, Saito said.
Analysts say the U.S. Federal Reserve Board may further lower its discount rate if the monthly employment report Friday is discouraging.
Other traders said some investors were retreating to the sidelines ahead of the Bank of Japan’s quarterly survey on business sentiment, also due out Friday.
On the foreign exchange market, the dollar started lower in Tokyo following selling pressure in the Sydney market, which opens earlier than Tokyo’s, said Yuko Fukakusa, a dealer with Tokai Bank.
Ms. Fukakusa said there was some buying, pushing the dollar as high as 135.53 yen at one point, from where it faced selling pressure again.
Most traders are choosing to adjust their dollar positions the rest of the day prior to Friday’s release of U.S. jobless figures, she said.