TOKYO -- The comeback in some well-known high-tech stocks helped Japanese markets grind higher on Monday, but volume was again low. With national elections coming up in six days, most investors looked like they would sit this week out.

Nasdaq Japan

, the country's newest venture market and a sister bourse to the U.S.


got started without a hitch, with only two of the eight firms making their debuts today falling into negative territory.


Nikkei 225

index gained 273.04, or 1.7%, to 16,591.35, the


index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, climbed 25.44, or 1.7%, to 1533.88. The


small-cap index shed 0.65 to 86.86, while the Nikkei


index lost 14.64 to 1725.87.

With another six days to national elections, institutional investors are nowhere to be found, which will make trading in Tokyo a low key affair for the entire week, traders said. Amid shares that found some action,


climbed 50,000 yen, or 1.8%, to 2.87 million ($27,024) and


gained 690, or 3.1%, to 22,690.

Some short-covering materialized in bank shares today, with the

Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi


, up 55, or 4.4%, to 1310.

On Nasdaq Japan, retail chain

Don Quijote

, a dual listing, fell 590, or 3.8%, to 14,800 but the four firms trading that recently conducted public offerings did fairly well. IT equipment provider

X Net

rose to 5.75 million vs. an IPO price of 5.5 million, software developer

Digital Design

stood at 1.8 million vs. 1.5 million, drug store operator

Sugi Pharmacy

gained to 9000 vs. 7000, while digital media agent

Creek & River

stood at 3.48 million compared with and IPO price of 3.5 million.

The greenback was near flat from Friday levels and stood slightly lower at 106.20 against the yen.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index shed 166.91 points, or 1.0%, to 16,267.47 as index heavyweights got caught up in a round of profit taking.



lost HK$1.50, or 1.6%, to 91.75 ($11.77), while

China Telecom

(CHL) - Get Report

shed 0.50 to 65.50.

Property shares also got pounded, after investors were disappointed with the new public housing measures announced by the government last Friday. There was some expectation the government would radically scale back public housing, clearing the way for more development deals, but instead the government shifted some public housing that had been for sale to the rental market.

Sun Hung Kai Properties


lost 3.25, or 5.1%, to 60.00, while

Sino Land

fell 0.17, or 5.1%, to 3.25.

Elsewhere in Asia, Korea's


index shed 3.66 to 755.38, while Taiwan's


index lost 19.70 to 8751.10.