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Tokyo stocks open flat, despite rise in U.S. blue chips.

TOKYO, Jan. 7 Kyodo

Stocks opened almost flat on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, although U.S. blue chips gained ground overnight for the first time this year.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average inched down 3.37 points, or 0.03 percent, to 11,488.89. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index of all First Section issues edged up 1.43 points, or 0.12 percent, to 1,149.40. The Second Section rose.

Investors bought automakers and other exporters after the dollar recovered the 105 yen line overnight in the United States, brokers said. A stronger dollar against the yen helps to boost Japanese exporters' earnings.

But mainstay high-tech issues fell prey to an overnight drop in the Nasdaq Composite Index, which lost ground for five trading days in a row.

In New York on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 25.05 points, or 0.24 percent, to 10,622.88, snapping up its longest losing streak since July 2002. The blue chip index had ended lower for the six trading days through Wednesday. The Nasdaq index shed 1.24 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,090.00.

On Thursday, the key Nikkei index gained 54.74 points, or 0.48 percent, to 11,492.26. The TOPIX rose 4.61 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,147.97.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jan 10, 2005
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