Dollar Slips, Stocks Gain
TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar slipped against the Japanese yen Friday, while share prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained moderately.
The dollar closed at 134.60 yen, down 0.50 yen from Thursday’s close of 135.10 yen. After opening at 134.15 yen, the currency ranged between 133.90 yen and 135.00 yen.
The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 selected issues gained 193.66 points, 0.84 percent, closing the week at 23,241.02. The index rose 78.09 points on Thursday.
In bond dealings, the price of the benchmark No. 119 10-year Japanese government bonds rose to 89.28 points as of 3 p.m. (1 a.m. EST), up from the previous day’s close of 88.87. Their yield fell to 6.805 percent from 6.890 percent.
North Sea Brent crude oil for February delivery was quoted at 26.00-26.10 dollars a barrel in Tokyo, little-changed from levels seen in New York overnight.
Currency dealers said the dollar was traded cautiously ahead of the Jan. 15 deadline set by the United Nations for Iraq to withdraw its troops from Kuwait or face eviction by force.
″It’s difficult to predict the direction of the currency at this time and traders are cautious,″ said Kozo Yoshida, a dealer with Mitsui Taiyo Kobe Bank.
Yoshida said the dollar was recovering in reaction to its 1.73-yen fall during Thursday’s trading in Tokyo.
Toru Kanai, a foreign exchange analyst with New Japan Securities Co., said the big investors were avoiding major moves with just two trading days - Friday and Monday - before the Jan. 15 deadline.
Japan’s markets will be closed next Tuesday for Coming of Age day, a national holiday.
″The possibility of war in the gulf has been gradually factored into the market, so there will be no panic,″ Kanai said.
The dollar, considered a safe investment in troubled times, tends to rise on reports of international tension.
On the stock market, the Nikkei index gained ground in the afternoon after a moderate drop in the morning.