TOKYO -- Technology shares in Japan were mixed in Friday trading, ahead of a string of major company earnings announcements and a series of national holidays next week, while major bank stocks tumbled as Japan's financial woes again made headlines.


Nikkei 225

index fell 45.47 points to 17,973.70, while the


index, which includes all shares listed on the TSE's first section, rose 4.65 to 1648.87. The


small-cap index climbed 0.26 to 100.17, and the Nikkei


index gained 37.23, or 1.9%, to 2028.07.

Ahead of earnings releases from top electronic component makers such as


(SNE) - Get Report






, tech shares were all over the map.



Hikari Tsushin

were higher but

Oracle Japan

, which jumped to the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section from the


market today, remained ask-only at 87,000 yen.

With a string of national holidays coming up in Japan next week, many traders were busy hedging their positions as Tokyo gets ready for Golden Week. Although markets will be open Monday and Tuesday, many traders are taking off all of next week.

Shares of

Hikari Tsushin

, the battered phone reseller and Internet incubator that was down 90% from its high earlier this year, rose 1800, or 13.0%, to 15,600 on rumors that



may be buying the company out. Both firms have denied the rumor, while traders said it was too soon to think shares of Hikari would permanently rebound from here.

There was no trading in Oracle Japan, which conducted its secondary offering of shares as it jumped to the TSE's first section today. Although the company is profitable, many investors seemed reluctant to pick up shares right away, on the chance the shares could fall further.


up 60, or 2.0%, to 3060, said fiscal 1999 consolidated net income totaled 42.7 billion yen ($403 million), versus a consolidated net loss of 13.6 billion yen in fiscal 1998. The firm also said it expects net income to reach 100 billion yen in fiscal 2000, an increase of 134% from the previous fiscal year.

Sony fell 70 to 12,410, while Toshiba rose 12, or 1.2%, to 1048 ahead of their earnings, which were released after the close. Softbank jumped 1500, or 6.0%, to 26,600.

Some investors were getting nervous about the still-remaining non-performing loans crisis in Japan, their worries triggered this time by department store operator


, which saw shares tumble 21.1%. Sogo asked its main creditors, the

Industrial Bank of Japan



Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank


Fuji Bank


to forgive $6 billion in debt. IBJ lost 4.3%, DKB shed 4.1%, while Fuji lost 4.4%.

The greenback barely budged as traders got ready for the holidays, trading recently for 106.44 yen.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index jumped 326.43 points, or 2.2%, to 15,519.30, largely on gains from telecom stocks. Besides Nasdaq's jump overnight, the market was happy to see

Hutchison Whampoa


, up HK$2.50, or 2.3%, to 113.00, win a bid for a third generation phone license in the U.K.

China Telecom

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rose 3.50, or 6.7%, to 56.00, while


, which is reportedly bidding for a 3G license in Hong Kong, rose 0.85, or 3.6%, to 24.30.

Pacific Century CyberWorks

shook off recent worries about the possibility that its takeover of

Cable & Wireless HKT


could collapse, with shares climbing 1.05, or 7.8%, to 14.50. The firm said yesterday that it had formed a joint venture with a local radio station, and pledged to spend about $1.5 billion on Internet content over the next five years.