Tokyo stocks close lower Friday, US$ up against yen


  • Business
  • Friday, 23 Jul 2004

TOKYO (AP) - Tokyo stocks fell Friday, driven down by weak high-tech issues as Wall Street's overnight gains failed to lift a listless market.  

The U.S. dollar was up against the Japanese yen. 

The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 issues closed down 97.71 points, or 0.87 percent, at 11,187.33 points Friday - a seven-week closing low since the Nikkei finished at 11,027.05 on June 3.  

On Thursday, the benchmark index fell 148.82 points, or 1.30 percent. 

The dollar was quoted at 109.78 yen at 3 p.m. (0600 GMT) Friday, up 0.12 yen from late Thursday in Tokyo and just above the 109.74 yen it bought in New York later that day. 

Tokyo stocks began their fall soon after the open amid a lack of fresh market-moving news. 

Investors, who have been cautious about taking aggressive positions ahead of company results due out starting next week, dismissed Wall Street's meager gains and sent local technology stocks lower. 

Chipmakers Advantest, Tokyo Electron and other tech-related issues like Canon and Sony were down Friday.  

Some major auto issues such as Toyota Motor and Honda Motor were among the losers. 

The broader index of all issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section lost 9.02 points, or 0.79 percent, to 1,135.29 points. 

The TOPIX dropped 9.26 points, or 0.80 percent, Thursday. 

In New York overnight, a spate of bargain-hunting nudged stocks slightly higher but the market remained sluggish amid lingering worries about the U.S. economy's health. 

The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 4.20 points, or 0.04 percent, at 10,050.33. 

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 14.69 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,889.06. 

In currency dealings, weak Japanese economic data and sluggish Tokyo share prices gave the U.S. currency a fleeting lift against the yen, although the greenback later remained in a narrow range. 

Japanese government data showed business activity in May slipped 0.7 percent from a month earlier, pulling back after two months of solid expansion. 

The drop in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's all industry index, a supply-side measure of economic growth, missed economists' expectations for a slight 0.2 percent rise on average. 

May's decline came after a 2.3 percent jump in April and a 1.6 percent rise in March. 

In other currencies, the euro fell to US$1.2236 Friday afternoon in Tokyo from US$1.2244 late Thursday. Against the yen, the euro was down at 134.35 yen from 134.55 yen. 

In the bond market, the yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year government bond rose to 1.8050 percent from Thursday's finish of 1.7750 percent. Its price fell 0.29 point to 99.95. - AP

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