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Japanese Stocks Advance

November 26, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese stocks advanced today on continued hopes that plans to bring an opposition party into a governing coalition would bring more economic stimulus measures. The dollar climbed against the yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 134.30 points, or 0.89 percent, closing at 15,207.77. On Wednesday, the Nikkei had slipped 91.17 points, or 0.60 percent.

The dollar bought 121.92 yen in late afternoon, up 1.08 yen from late Wednesday in Tokyo and above its late New York level of 121.73 yen overnight. Markets in the United States were closed today in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The yen ranged between 121.34 yen and 122.05 yen in thin trading because of the U.S. holiday, propped up by regular month-end purchases by Japanese mutual funds anxious to invest new money in foreign markets, traders said.

Share prices rose amid optimism that recent moves to stabilize Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi’s government will prove beneficial to the ailing Japanese economy.

Investors have been encouraged by an alliance between Obuchi’s ruling party and the minority Liberal Party, which has called for suspending an unpopular sales tax and trimming the government bureaucracy, traders said.

The main stock index has rallied about 800 points this week, closing above 15,000 points Tuesday for first time since Aug. 25.

``The market has broken out of its old trading range,″ said Kunihiro Hatae, general manger of the stock division at Tokyo Securities Co.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was up 10.91 points, or 0.95 percent, to 1,164.59. It had edged down 1.93 points, or 0.17 percent, the previous day.

Volume on the first section was estimated at 499 million shares, down from 505.13 million Wednesday. Advances outnumbered retreats 826 to 372, with 105 issues unchanged.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.055 percent from Wednesday’s finish of 0.970 percent, driving its price down to 106.46 yen from 107.25 yen.

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