Originally created 04/15/04

Tokyo stocks open lower, dollar higher against yen



TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks opened lower Wednesday following Wall Street's weakness. The dollar was trading higher against the Japanese yen.

The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 issues was down 63.33 points, or 0.52 percent, at 12,064.49 points shortly after the open. On Tuesday, the index gained 85.12 points, or 0.71 percent, to 12,127.82, finishing at a new 32-month high.

The dollar was trading at 106.87 yen at 9 a.m. Wednesday, up 1.22 yen from Tuesday in Tokyo and above the 106.63 yen it bought in New York later that day.

On the stock market, investors took a cue from Wall Street's losses.

U.S. stocks plunged Tuesday as investors interpreted a big jump in retail sales as a sign of an earlier-than-expected hike in interest rates.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 134.28, or 1.3 percent, to 10,381.28. The Nasdaq composite index lost 35.40, or 1.7 percent, to 2,030.08.

In early Wednesday trading, the broader index of all issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section fell 3.30 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,213.30 points. The TOPIX rose 10.03 points, or 0.83 percent, the day before.

In currencies, the dollar remained higher following its surge in New York, where a 1.8 percent jump in March U.S. retail sales prompted expectations that the Federal Reserve might boost interest rates soon.

The euro was trading at $1.1924 early Wednesday in Tokyo, down from $1.1990 late Tuesday. Against the yen, the common European currency was quoted at 127.36 yen, up from 126.69 yen.

The yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year government bond rose to 1.5050 percent early Wednesday from 1.4800 percent late Tuesday. Its price fell 0.22 to 99.95 points.

On the Net:

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