TOKYO -- While the world waited for the

Federal Open Market Committee

meeting in the U.S. to start, Japanese investors continued to shift out of high-tech shares and into domestic cyclicals in cautious trading.

Still, the market was somewhat buoyant on hopes that the

Bank of Japan's

tankan survey on corporate investment, which will be released next Tuesday, will show an improvement in the economy.


Nikkei 255

index rose 91.11 points to 17,370.17, while the


index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, climbed 4.10 to 1578.44. The


small-cap index gained 0.74 to 87.11, while the Nikkei


index inched up 2.03 to 1751.81.

Domestic auto, paper and cement makers fared well, including

Sumitomo Osaka Cement

, up 30 yen, or 5.2%, to 605 ($5.74),

Toyota Motor

(TM) - Get Report

, up 120, or 2.5%, to 4870, and

Nippon Paper Industries

, up 14, or 2.0%, to 718. Traders said that the likely buyers were domestic pension funds, many of which are highly risk-averse and hate to invest in international assets. Many investors are hoping cyclical shares will rise further after the BOJ tankan survey, which is expected to show a modest improvement in overall corporate sentiment.

Large-cap tech shares were mixed, with


(SNE) - Get Report

shedding 20 to 980,



also losing 20 to 3350 and


unchanged at 24,650.

Japan Oracle

jumped 1150, or 3.1%, to 38,750 after the firm said it expects a 25% boost in pretax profits for fiscal 2000, which ended March 31.

With talks of yet another sovereign debt downgrade, the greenback inched higher and recently bought 105.37 yen as the market entertained the possibility that

Fitch IBCA

could cut Japan's sovereign debt rating. Fitch confirmed that analysts in London would be meeting today to discuss Japan's rating, but said that this did not necessarily mean the rating would be slashed.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index rose 282.65 points, or 1.8%, to 16,438.42 amid continued excitement in telecom shares.

New World Development

, which runs

New World Telephone

, fell HK$0.10, or 1.1%, to 9.20 ($1.18) despite talk that

Singapore Telecommunications

may buy a stake in the unit. Rival


shed 0.35, or 2.0%, to 17.40, while

China Telecom

(CHL) - Get Report

, jumped 3.50, or 5.1%, to 72.25.

Clothing retailer

Esprit Holdings

was flat at 7.85 after the firm said it would postpone today's public offering of its European unit, Esprit Europe, due to unfavorable market conditions.

Elsewhere in Asia, Korea's


index rose 8.86, or 1.1%, to 818.73, while Taiwan's


index shed 58.54 to 8365.63.