Originally created 04/23/04

Tokyo stocks close up, dollar higher against yen



TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks rose Thursday as export-related issues got a boost from a stronger dollar and gains by U.S. technology shares. The U.S. dollar was higher against the Japanese yen.

The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 issues closed up 35.80 points, or 0.30 percent, at 11,980.10. On Wednesday, the benchmark lost 7.96 points, or 0.07 percent.

By late afternoon Thursday, the dollar traded at 109.46 yen, up 0.60 yen from Wednesday's late level in Tokyo but below the 109.35 yen it bought in New York. It traded in a range of 109.13 yen and 109.64 yen.

The dollar's rise was felt in the Tokyo stock market, as technology and other exporter issues climbed amid buying by investors were cheered by the dollar's strength.

A stronger dollar helps Japanese exporters by boosting their overseas profits when converted back into yen.

Automakers Toyota and Honda, and technology issues Canon, Sharp and Advantest led the market higher.

Still, growing expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike limited the market's gains amid concerns such a move could dent companies' U.S. earnings and take some of the air out of global stock markets.

"The reason behind investors' cautious stance is that they still haven't come up with an answer for the level of its impact on corporate earnings," said Shoji Yoshigoe, investment research manager at UFJ Tsubasa Securities.

On Wednesday, for the second day in a row, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan told a congressional committee that the economic recovery was deepening and that interest rates would have to rise at some point, although he didn't say when.

In Tokyo, the broader index of all issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section gained 2.21 points, or 0.18 percent, at 1,205.80 points Thursday. The index dropped 0.78 points, or 0.06 percent, on Wednesday.

In other currencies, the euro traded at $1.1829, up from $1.1820 late Wednesday. Against the yen, the common European currency was quoted at 129.53 yen, up from 128.76 yen.

The yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year government bond dipped to 1.5350 percent from 1.5700 percent late Wednesday. Its price rose 0.29 to 99.69 points.

On the Net:

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