24 February 2005, 11:25  Tokyo Stocks Finish Up on Blue-Chip Bargain Hunting; Dollar Rises Against Yen, Lower Versus Euro

Tokyo stocks finished higher Thursday on bargain-hunting in select blue-chip issues following Wall Street's overnight gains. The U.S. dollar was higher against the Japanese yen.
The Nikkei Stock Average of 225 selected issues gained 30.97 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 11,531.15 points. The index lost 97.53 points, or 0.84 percent, Wednesday.
The dollar was trading at 104.75 yen at 3 p.m. (0600 GMT) Thursday, up 0.03 yen from late Wednesday in Tokyo but below the 104.85 yen it bought in New York later that day.
Stock prices rose as investors welcomed U.S. stock gains overnight on government data showing only modest inflation, better-than-expected corporate earnings and announcements of merger deals.
Investors picked up select blue chips after three days of falls in the Nikkei index.
Technology issues Canon Inc., TDK Corp. and Sony Corp. advanced, as did Honda Motor Co. Banks Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. also rose.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 62.59, or 0.59 percent, to 10,673.79, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 0.93, or 0.05 percent, at 2,031.25.
In other Tokyo stock trading Thursday, the broader TOPIX, which includes all issues on the market's first section, gained 4.59 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,157.54 points. The index shed 9.54 points, or 0.82 percent, the day before.
In currencies, the dollar held steady against the yen after bouncing back in New York after fears of central bank dollar selling faded.
The euro rose to US$1.3243 Thursday afternoon in Tokyo from US$1.3217. Against the Japanese currency, it rose to 138.68 yen from 138.38 yen.
The yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year government bond rose to 1.4050 percent, from Wednesday's finish of 1.4050 percent. Its price fell 0.04 to 99.09 points.

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