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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, December 25, 2000

Nikkei up 3.8%, posts best rise in 21 months

TOKYO -- Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average posted its biggest gain today in 21 months, led by Sony Corp. and other exporters on optimism a cut in U.S. interest rates as early as next month will spur demand for Japanese goods in the world's largest economy.

Kyocera Corp. and other computer-related companies rose after the U.S. Nasdaq composite index on Friday surged 7.6 percent, posting the fifth-largest gain in the index's 29-year history and easing concern about slower earnings growth in the industry.

The Nikkei 225 rose for a second day, adding 504.53, or 3.8 percent, to 13,931.61, its biggest gain since March 19, 1999. The volume was 444.9 million shares.

Stocks also got a boost on newspaper reports the Japanese government may invest more than 2 trillion yen each year over the next five years in stocks as the postal savings systems and the public pension funds plan to buy more shares.

Meanwhile, the dollar bought 112.90 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market, up 0.30 yen from Friday in Tokyo and also above its level of 112.39 yen later Friday in New York.

CMGI seeking buyer for investment site

ANDOVER, Mass. -- CMGI Inc. is trying to sell Raging Bull, the Web site of its AltaVista unit that has discussion groups for stocks and personal finance, the Boston Globe reported, citing company officials.

AltaVista paid $163 million for Raging Bull, the paper said. CMGI shares have fallen 91 percent since the Internet venture capital company said in November 1999 that it would buy Raging Bull. Raging Bull has had several companies interested in purchasing it, though the financial Web site doesn't have a deadline to find a buyer, the paper said, citing an unnamed CMGI spokeswoman.

In other news . . .

Bullet TOKYO -- Japan's fourth-largest supermarket chain operator Mycal Corp. will close 45 stores and cut 1,500 jobs as part of a restructuring, Japan news reports said.

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