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Dollar edges lower, stocks rebound

February 25, 1997

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar edged lower against the yen today as more Japanese companies converted their foreign-exchange holdings to yen. Tokyo stock prices rebounded in moderate trading.

In late afternoon, the dollar was trading at 122.12 yen, down 0.26 yen from late Monday in Tokyo and also below its late New York level of 122.18 yen overnight. It now has fallen 1.54 yen in the last three trading sessions in Tokyo.

It ranged between 121.94 yen and 122.39 in today’s trading.

Tamotsu Kawamoto, a foreign exchange trader with Tokai Bank, said the dollar remained under selling pressure because more Japanese companies are expected to sell foreign currency holdings for yen by the end of Japan’s fiscal year March 31.

This would allow them to lock in profits on the dollar’s recent rise. The dollar has climbed to its present levels from 116 yen at the end of last year.

On Monday, news that Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. planned to convert all its remaining foreign currency deposits into yen, worth about $700 million, before the fiscal year end promoted aggressive yen buying.

Kawamoto said many players now are awaiting testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan before Congress beginning Wednesday.

Meanwhile, share prices opened lower because of overnight weakness in Nikkei futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

But buying later of a number of blue-chip electronic and precision instrument issues pushed the stock exchange’s main index higher, traders said.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 173.08 points, or 0.92 percent, closing at 19,070.07. On Monday, the average had fallen 137.55 points, or 0.72 percent.

The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 2.07 points, or 0.15 percent, to 1,425.37. It had declined 1.71 points, or 0.12 percent, Monday.

An estimated 430 million shares changed hands on the first section, down from Monday’s 460 million. Advances outnumbered declines 555 to 537, with 164 issues unchanged.

Gainers included some pharmaceutical issues, while losers included securities stocks and some construction and real estate issues.

The benchmark No. 182 10-year Japanese government bond closed at 104.25 yen, up from Monday’s close of 104.14 yen. Its yield fell to 2.400 percent from 2.415 percent.

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