Originally created 04/27/04

Tokyo stocks close at 32-month high



TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks climbed to a 32-month high on Monday as investors bought shares amid high hopes for strong corporate earnings reports due out this week. The U.S. dollar slipped against the Japanese yen.

The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 issues rose 43.23 points, or 0.36 percent, to end at 12,163.89 points - its highest close since August 7, 2001, when it finished at 12,319.46. On Friday, the index gained 140.56 points, or 1.17 percent.

The dollar traded at 109.02 yen at 5 p.m. (0800 GMT) Monday, down 0.26 yen from Friday in Tokyo and also below the 109.09 yen it bought in New York later that day.

On the stock market, telecom issues KDDI, NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone Holdings all ended higher, while technology shares Advantest, Fanuc, Sony and Toshiba also rose.

Sony and Toshiba are due to report earnings on Tuesday for the year ended March 31.

Automaker Nissan climbed 1.4 percent. After the market closed, the automaker reported a 8.8 percent jump in group net revenue and a 1.7 percent gain in group net income for the previous fiscal year.

"I would say the market is pretty strong," said Norihiro Fujito, an equity strategist at Mitsubishi Securities.

Earlier, Cosmo Securities' Kenichi Azuma said investors were seeing a "very good cycle" of bargain-hunting amid optimistic profit outlooks for companies announcing earnings this week.

Mitsubishi Motors was among the losers.

Investors continued to punish the automaker following DaimlerChrysler AG's surprise decision last week to not increase its 37 percent stake in Mitsubishi, its chief Asian partner, dashing speculation about a rescue plan worth several billion dollars.

Mitsubishi Motors sank 3.32 percent to 233 yen ($2.14) on Monday, adding to losses from its 25 percent plunge on Friday. Still, traders noted the stock ended well above its low for the day of 216 yen ($1.98), signaling that selling pressure has eased.

Mitsubishi's other shareholders, including Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, were also down.

On Wall Street Friday, technology stocks rose following a solid earnings report from Microsoft Corp. but concerns about an interest rate hike limited gains by blue chips. The tech-dominated Nasdaq composite index rose 16.86, or 0.8 percent, to 2,049.77. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 11.64 or 0.1 percent, to close at 10,472.84.

In Tokyo, the broader index of all issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section climbed 1.34 points, or 0.11 percent, to 1,210.96 points Monday. The TOPIX gained 3.82 points, or 0.32 percent, the previous session.

Volume on the first section was estimated at 1.525 billion, down from 1.743 billion the previous session. Decliners lead advancers 833 to 621.

In other currencies, the euro was quoted at 128.81 yen late Monday, below Friday's level of 129.77 yen. Against the dollar, the euro traded at $1.1824 in Tokyo, down from $1.1888.

The yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year government bond rose to 1.5200 percent from 1.5000 percent Friday. Its price slipped 0.18 to 99.82 points.

On the Net:

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