Originally created 03/16/04

Tokyo stocks higher, dollar down against yen



TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks surged Monday as investors took a cue from Wall Street's gains last Friday and sent banks and technology issues higher. The U.S. dollar was down against the Japanese yen.

The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 issues closed up 155.15 points, or 1.39 percent, at 11,317.90. On Friday, the index fell 134.29 points, or 1.19 percent.

The dollar bought 110.82 yen in late trading Monday, down 0.54 yen from late Friday in Tokyo and below the 110.84 yen it bought in New York late that day. The greenback traded between 110.67 yen and 111.06 yen in Tokyo.

On the stock market, prices rebounded after falling in the previous three sessions. The Nikkei had lost 369.29 points, or 3.2 percent, between Wednesday and Friday.

Analysts said Wall Street's rebound Friday prompted Tokyo investors to buy on expectations that local shares would rise again after their recent declines.

"The U.S. market rebound and resumed foreign investor buying prompted short-covering," said Hiroichi Nishi, deputy general manager at Nikko Cordial Securities Co. In short covering, investors who sold stock figuring the market was going to keep falling are forced to buy shares to cover their bets when the market turns higher.

High technology issues such as Advantest and Canon, as well as automakers Honda Motor, Nissan and Toyota made gains Monday.

Major banks, including Mizuho, Sumitomi Mitsui Financial and Resona, were also stronger.

The bank-heavy, main index of all issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section rose 17.55 points, or 1.58 percent, to 1,124.92 Monday. The TOPIX fell 12.97 points, or 1.15 percent, Friday.

Volume on first section was estimated at 1.618 billion shares, down from 2.391 billion shares Friday. Gainers swamped losers 1,268 to 235, while 50 issues ended flat from Friday.

In New York Friday, U.S. stocks rebounded after four days of heavy losses.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 111.70, or 1.1 percent, to 10,240.08. The Nasdaq composite index jumped 40.84, or 2.1 percent, to 1,984.73.

In currencies, the euro bought $1.2268 late Monday in Tokyo, up from $1.2260 late Friday. Against the yen, the European currency was quoted at 135.91 yen, down from 136.48 yen.

The yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year government bond rose to 1.2900 percent Monday afternoon from 1.2600 percent late Friday. Its price fell 0.27 to 100.08 points.

On the Net:

Tokyo Stock Exchange: http://www.tse.or.jp