TOKYO -- With Japanese investors convinced that the
Bank of Japan
would not raise interest rates, a rally in large-cap technology shares helped the market inch higher Monday.
Those investors were right. After the market closed, the BOJ said it would keep its current zero interest rate policy intact. The
index closed up 143.93 to 17,286.83, while the
index, which includes all shares listed on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange's
first section, fell 3.82 to 1576.04. The
small-cap index finished after shedding 0.92, or 1.1%, to 85.12, while the Nikkei
index lost 13.39 to 1760.06.
It is largely believed that the central bank's decision came after the nation endured the second largest corporate bankruptcy to date. The
, one of Japan's largest department store operators, shocked investors because the government had previously said it would bail out the 170-year old firm by using public funds.
In an unusual move, the BOJ issued a statement after the meeting was over. Board members said the deflationary pressures stemming from weak demand had greatly waned, and that the time was "approaching" for the zero-interest rate policy to end.
But even before investors got a chance to see the BOJ's decision, a rally in tech shares helped Tokyo start the week off on a solid footing.
climbed 60 yen to 3420 ($31.61) and
rose 110 to 22,510 while
rose 150, or 1.2%, to 12,950.
Food and beverage makers continued to slide amid even more news about tainted products.
lost 200, or 7.1%, to 2635 after the firm recalled its popular Kirin Speed sports drink when customers complained about an odd taste.
shed 29, or 3.0%, to 943 after customers griped about moldy bread.
The greenback edged slightly higher against the yen and recently fetched 108.18.
A rally in telecom shares helped Hong Kong's
index rise 248.62, or 1.4%, to 17,834.78. Index heavyweight
jumped HK$2.75, or 3.8%, to 75.75 ($9.72), while rival
rose 0.15 to 21.45.
In yet another bold move,
Pacific Century Cyberworks
, which recently received the go-ahead to buy out
Cable & Wireless HKT
, rose 0.15 to 16.10 after local reports indicated the firm may be looking to buy out Japan's Internet incubator
. Hikari, one of Japan's famous fallen Internet angels, jumped 420, or 10.9%, to 4280.
Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan's
index closed up 67.39, or 8585.52, while Singapore's
index gained 28.05 for the day, or 1.4%, to 2107.94. Korean markets were closed for a national holiday.