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Tokyo Stocks’ Rise Is Biggest of Year

From Associated Press

Stock prices rallied in heavy trading Friday, sending one index to its biggest gain of the year on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The key 225-issue Nikkei stock average rose 1,042.33 points, or 4.80%, ending a roller-coaster week at 22,754.90. On Thursday, the average rose 209.67 points, or 0.96%, after a five-day drop totaling 1,166.54 points.

Friday’s advance was the largest single-day rise in the Nikkei this year, exceeding the previous surge of 1,004.11 on Jan. 17, which came on expectations of a quick end to the Gulf War. It was the eighth-largest ever.

The surge was a counterpoint to Wednesday, when the Nikkei plunged nearly 800 points at midday to its lowest intra-day level of the year--21,123.90.

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Many market players had feared that more selling would take place Friday, but “the market jumped far larger than we had expected. There was an unexpected amount of buying” carried over from Thursday, said Masami Okuma, chief trader with UBS Phillips & Drew International.

An estimated 700 million shares changed hands, a startling turnaround from Thursday’s 238 million shares.


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