Originally created 08/25/04

Tokyo stocks finish higher



TOKYO -- Tokyo stock prices rose Tuesday after gains by technology and major automakers offset losses by oil-related issues. The U.S. dollar was up against the Japanese yen.

The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 issues rose 24.36 points, or 0.22 percent, closing at 10,985.33 points. On Monday, the index rose 71.83 points, or 0.66 percent.

The dollar was quoted at 109.81 yen by late afternoon on the Tokyo foreign exchange market, up 0.45 yen from late Monday in Tokyo and above the 109.77 yen it bought in New York later that day.

On the stock market, high-technology shares including Canon, Kyocera, Sony and Matsushita ended higher as did automakers Nissan and Toyota. Cosmo Oil, Nippon Oil Corp. and Teikoku Oil Co. finished lower.

Investors said that overall, however, trading activity was slow without fresh trading incentives as well as big institutional investors.

"Both the Japanese and U.S. stock markets still lack a clear direction," says Hiroichi Nishi, deputy general manager at Nikko Cordial Securities Co. "Brokerage dealers and individual investors have been the main traders, but in low volume, so blue-chip stocks can't move."

Monday in New York, a disappointing sales forecast from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sent stocks mostly lower amid ongoing concern about the effect of surging oil prices on the economy, but tech stocks eked out minimal gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 37.09, or 0.4 percent, to 10,073.05. The Nasdaq ended up 0.68, or 0.04 percent, at 1,838.70.

The broader index of all issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section added 2.36 points, or 0.21 percent, to 1,116.60 points at Tuesday's close. The index climbed 4.40 points, or 0.40 percent, Monday.

Declining issues outnumbered gainers 791 to 578, while 187 ended unchanged from Monday.

Volume on the first section rose to an estimated 1.065 billion shares from 1.047 billion shares Monday.

In other currencies, the euro slipped to $1.2152 Tuesday in Tokyo from $1.2294 Monday. Against the yen, the euro fell to 133.40 yen from 134.49 yen.

In the bond market, the yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year government fell to 1.5850 from 1.5950 late Monday. Its price rose 0.09 point to 102.67.

On the Net:

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