TOKYO -- In Japan, some are calling it a tech comeback. With just under two weeks left before the end of the 1999 fiscal year, investors seem to be done taking profits before their books close, and are back to picking up tech and telecom shares that were brutally beaten down over the past several weeks.


Nikkei 225

index rose 174.63 points to 19,253.23, while the


index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, climbed 40.14, or 2.5%, to 1645.57. The


small-cap index jumped 3.90, or 3.6%, to 113.83, while Nikkei


shares rose 85.16, or 3.7%, to 2380.80.

Despite a slide in the


composite on Wednesday, large-cap index heavyweights in the tech sector climbed higher, as pension funds and retail investors deemed some of them cheap.


(SNE) - Get Report

rose 260 yen, or 1.0%, to 27,010,


climbed 5000, or 5.3%, to 99,200, while

Hikari Tsushin

jumped 5000, or 5.7%, to 93,500. Traders said the president of Hikari Tsushin assured analysts yesterday that he was not under investigation for insider trading, as previously rumored.


jumped 23,000, or 2.5%, to 949,000 after the firm announced plans to use W-CDMA (wide-band code division multiple access) technology -- the favorite for European carriers -- for its planned third generation mobile phones. The news, however, was a blow to



, which owns 25% of DDI. Kyocera supports CDMA-2000 technology, which is spearheaded by


(QCOM) - Get Report

. Kyocera slipped 450, or 2.8%, to 15,400.



fell 20 to 3070 on talk that the firm was taken off Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's list of 40 global recommended shares.

Caution was the name of the game in currency dealings a day after the

Bank of Japan

intervened to weaken the yen, which stood at 105.65 yen to the dollar. Dealers said they were very cautious about selling more dollars after the central bank stepped in late in the Tokyo trading day yesterday.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index fell 388.20, or 2.3%, to 16,359.00. With Nasdaq's drop overnight,

China Telecom

(CHL) - Get Report

tumbled HK$3.00, or 4.5%, to 63.25 and

SmarTone Telecommunications

dropped 0.60, or 2.1%, to 28.70. Investors picked up laggard financial shares, which were helped by the rise in the

Dow Jones Industrial Average




rose 0.50 to 85.75, while

Hang Seng Bank


jumped 1.25, or 1.9%, to 66.50.

With the countdown beginning to Saturday's presidential elections in Taiwan, investors were cautious, as the


index rose 42.73 to 8682.76. Investors have been shedding large positions in tech shares recently, spurred by political tensions. These were heightened after Thursday's comments by Chinese premier

Zhu Rongji,

who warned the Taiwanese not to elect a leader who would support the island's full independence (China regards Taiwan as a renegade province).

The market's rise today was due to hefty buying from the government's "market stabilization fund," which is used to prop up the stock market at times of political uncertainty.