Asian Markets Update: Japanese Shares Mixed in Quiet Session - TheStreet

TOKYO -- Shares nudged lower in slow trading here Tuesday as technology stocks took a breather after the previous session's bounce.


Nikkei 225

index shed 64.28, easing to 15,928.62, while the


index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, fell 4.72 to 1473.52. The


small-cap index rose 0.80 to 76.04, while the Nikkei


index gained 3.06 to 1599.45.

Local investors have shied away from the market so far this week and are expected to stay sidelined until next week, or until after the fiscal first half closes on Sept. 30, traders say. Many foreign institutional investors as well as hedge funds were shorting the Nikkei 225 December futures yesterday and today, which also dampened sentiment. Although some players expect a short-covering rally later this week if local fund managers manage to push shares higher, the Nikkei 225 index isn¿t expected to spike to more than 16,500, according to traders.

With rising oil prices still on everyone's mind, activity in the cash market was extremely thin. Technology shares were mixed, with


(SNE) - Get Report

down 40 yen to 11,800 ($109.95),

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone


down 70,000, or 5.8%, to 1.13 million, while



rose 15 to 2685 and


gained 30,000, or 1%, to 3.07 million.

Mitsubishi Electric

closed 12, or 1.4% higher, to 882 after raising its forecast for group net profit by 60% to 120 billion yen for the year ending March 2001.

The greenback fell against the yen to recently fetch 107.32.

Hong Kong was dominated by worries about the high debt burden of broadband and telecom operator

Pacific Century Cyberworks

( PCW). The key

Hang Seng

index fell 138.10 to 15,290.85 after PCCW fell HK$0.65, or 7%, to 8.65 ($1.11) after an Australian newspaper reported that the company's mobile-phone joint venture with


may fall through or be renegotiated. That said, some traders indicated today that shares could bounce in the latter half of the week on a pure technical basis now that the stock has fallen about 50% over the past two months.

Elsewhere in Asia, Korea's


index rose 2.97 to 587.60, while Taiwan's


index gained 71.57, or 1.1%, to 6749.03.