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TOKYO -- Japanese shares drifted lower as domestic cyclical stocks fell out of favor with investors, but other markets in the region rose.

There were some worries about what would happen in trading later today in the U.S., after traders saw news that

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get CA, Inc. Report

had announced that it would miss earnings estimates for the first quarter due to sluggish European sales.


Nikkei 225

index lost 34.20 points to 17,435.95, while the


index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, fell 5.76 to 1601.18. The


small-cap index shed 0.60 to 89.38, while the Nikkei


index rose 5.40 to 1811.84.

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With many Asian markets closely following moves in the U.S., some traders here were irked over the fact that Computer Associates announced such market-moving information right before the holiday break, noting that it could cause another tech sell-off when the U.S. opens for trading today.

Nonetheless, Japanese investors were shifting out of cyclical shares including steel and construction firms, and edging back into large-cap tech shares, including


(SNE) - Get Sony Corp. Report

climbing 180 yen, or 1.7%, to 10,600 ($100.05) and



rising 38, or 2.0%, to 1899.


climbed 50,000, or 1.7%, to 2.97 million on talk that the firm was hooking up with

Compaq Computer


to form a joint venture to develop further its popular mobile phone Internet service, I-mode.

Internet incubator


tumbled 1460, or 10.5%, to 12,450 after some investors got scared over the future of

Nippon Credit Bank

, which recently got the go-ahead by regulators to be bought out by a Softbank-led consortium. NCB carries a heap of dud loans that the bank accumulated in the go-go bubble era of the late 1980's, and investors are wondering how the new owners will handle the monumental task of cleaning up NCB's books.

The greenback fell slightly against the yen and recently bought 105.94 yen.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index jumped 238.51 points, or 1.5%, to 16,474.27 as investors took heart from reports that

Hutchison Whampoa


would team up with NTT DoCoMo and Dutch company

KPN Mobile

to roll out third generation mobile phone service in Europe. Hutchison rose HK$4.50, or 4.4%, to 107.00 ($13.73).

Other telecoms jumped along for the ride with

China Unicom

(CHU) - Get China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. Report

climbing 0.45, or 2.5%, to 18.75, and

SmarTone Telecommunications

soaring 1.05, or 6.0%, to 18.50.



index managed to rebound and climbed 369.20, or 4.6%, to 8421.74. Traders said the rise today was largely due to buying by government-run mutual funds, but news that the government will not immediately hike taxes also helped sentiment.



index climbed 11.87, or 1.5%, to 830.40.