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Stocks Fall in Tokyo

June 3, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ The dollar edged lower against the yen Wednesday morning amid speculation that central bankers would act to prop up the Japanese currency. Tokyo stocks fell.

The dollar bought 138.74 yen as of midday, down 0.51 yen from late Tuesday in Tokyo and below its late New York level of 138.83 yen.

The dollar slipped as traders speculated that the Group of Seven major industrialized nations will jointly intervene to help boost the sliding yen.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin stoked speculation about joint intervention when he confirmed that there will be a G-7 meeting ``sometime early next week.″

Rubin also prompted traders to sell dollars when he told reporters that Washington shares Tokyo’s concern over the yen’s weakness.

On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, share prices fell amid profit taking. Investors were also discouraged by a fall on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 31.13 points, or 0.35 percent, to 8,891.24.

The Nikkei Stock Average shed 222.68 points, or 1.43 percent, to 15,331.77 at the close of the morning session. On Tuesday, the index gained 233.42 points, or 1.52 percent.

Toshiba was among the decliners. The electronics maker fell after the Nihon Keizai financial daily reported Wednesday that large amounts of toxic chemicals were detected in ground water under a Toshiba factory in the city of Nagoya. Toshiba denied using the chemical at that site.

The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all issues listed on the first section was down 8.49 points, or 0.70 percent, to 1,204.48. The TOPIX rose 16.27 points, or 1.36 percent on Tuesday.

The yield on the benchmark No. 182 10-year Japanese government bond was quoted at 1.130 percent, unchanged from Tuesday’s finish. Its price edged lower to 112.58 from 112.59.

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