Originally created 05/25/04

Tokyo stocks higher on bank gains, dollar rises against yen

TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks edged higher Monday as investors bought bank issues on expectations the big four banks will deliver solid earnings results. The U.S. dollar was up against the yen.

The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 closed up 31.39 points, or 0.28 percent, at 11,101.64 points. On Friday, the index gained 208.21 points, or 1.92 percent.

The dollar was quoted at 112.52 yen by late afternoon in Tokyo, up 0.55 yen from late Friday and also above the 112.20 yen it bought in New York. It fluctuated between 112.10 yen and 112.95 yen on Monday in Tokyo.

On the stock market, bank issues led Monday's gains, as investors expected solid results from major banks. All big four banks - Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui, Mitsubishi Tokyo and UFJ - closed higher Monday.

After trading ended Monday, banks reported mixed results for the year ended March 31, with Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial saying their profits improved, while UFJ posted another year of losses due to bad loan write-offs. All four banks said they would be profitable this year.

Shares of troubled automaker Mitsubishi Motors sank 6.3 percent to 225 yen ($2), following its announcement Friday of a reorganization plan that will cut 11,000 jobs - nearly a quarter of its global work force - and lead to a $4 billion infusion from investors.

The Tokyo-based automaker, which reported deep losses and debt and a drop in sales last year, was dealt a blow when U.S.-German automaker DaimlerChrysler AG decided last month against offering more money for a turnaround. DaimlerChrysler's stake in Mitsubishi Motors is set to fall from 37 percent to 22 percent or 23 percent.

The broader index of all issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section rose 5.68 points, or 0.50 percent, to close at 1,130.89 points Monday. The index 20.32 points, or 1.84 percent, Friday.

On the first section, volume was an estimated 1.284 billion shares, up from 1.181 billion last Friday. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 949 to 515 and 92 issues ended unchanged from Friday.

U.S. stocks gained Friday as Saudi Arabia indicated that OPEC should increase its daily output.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 29.10, or 0.3 percent, to 9,966.74. The Nasdaq composite index was up 15.50, or 0.8 percent, at 1,912.09.

In currencies, the dollar rose against the yen, largely due to technical factors. There was little market-moving news to dictate trade.

The euro slipped to $1.1957 in Tokyo late Monday from $1.2014 late Friday. Against the yen, the euro stood at 134.58 yen, up from 134.54 yen.

The yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year government bond rose to 1.4800 percent from 1.4600 percent late Friday. Its price slipped 0.17 to 100.17 points.

On the Net:

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


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