Originally created 09/09/04

Tokyo stocks close lower, U.S. dollar down against Japanese yen



TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks fell Wednesday amid declines by semiconductor industry shares such as Tokyo Electron and Advantest. The U.S. dollar was lower against the Japanese yen.

The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 issues closed down 19.75 points, or 0.17 percent, at 11,279.19 points. On Tuesday, the index rose 54.57 points, or 0.49 percent.

The dollar was quoted at 109.49 yen by late afternoon Wednesday, down 0.25 yen from late Tuesday but above the 109.30 yen it bought in New York.

On the stock market, key high-technology shares lost ground after the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index dropped 1.1 percent on Tuesday.

Advantest, a semiconductor testing device company, fell 1.7 percent while Tokyo Electron, a maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, dropped 1.6 percent.

Electronic components maker Kyocera ended 1.7 percent lower.

Though traders and dealers bought real estate, brokerage and regional bank shares, their purchases weren't enough to lift the overall market.

Kiyoshi Yamanaka, portfolio manager at T&D Asset Management in Tokyo, said many investors and traders preferred to stay on the sidelines ahead of revised Japanese gross domestic product data due Friday. Many also waited for earnings reports due from key domestic retailers later this month, he said.

"It's hard for institutional players to add new positions," Yamanaka said.

Tuesday in New York, stocks rallied as investors cheered falling oil prices and an improving job picture.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 82.59, or 0.8 percent, to 10,342.79, its highest close since June 30. The Nasdaq composite index gained 14.08, or 0.8 percent, to 1,858.56.

In Tokyo on Wednesday, the index of all issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section slipped 0.57 points, or 0.05 percent, to close at 1,144.13 points. The index gained 1.66 points, or 0.15 percent, on Tuesday.

Volume fell to 1.498 billion shares from 1.767 billion shares Tuesday.

Declining issues surpassed gainers 776 to 627, while 180 ended unchanged.

In currencies, the dollar remained weaker against the yen after it retreated against most major currencies in New York Tuesday as traders booked profits ahead of Wednesday's testimony from the Federal Reserve's top official.

The euro slipped to $1.2090 late Wednesday in Tokyo from $1.2093 late Tuesday. Against the yen, the euro fell to 132.43 yen from 132.60 yen.

On the bond market, the yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year government bond slipped to 1.6200 percent from Tuesday's finish of 1.6350 percent. Its price rose 0.13 to 99.82 points.

On the Net:

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