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Asian Markets Update: Nikkei Manages Slim Gains in Heavy Selling

Korea's Kospi index declines for the ninth straight session.

TOKYO -- A late-day rally in selected technology shares helped nudge key Japanese indices a hair higher Tuesday, but the buying continued to be countered by selling from institutional investors that shed blue-chips ahead of book closings for the fiscal first half.

The

Nikkei 225

index rose 63.03 to close at 16,124.19, while the

Topix

index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, climbed 9.59 to end at 1490.63. The

Jasdaq

small-cap index lost 1.60, or 2.1%, to stand at 75.14, while the Nikkei

over-the-counter

index shed 26.14, or 1.6%, to finish at 1600.44.

The

Nasdaq's

near 3% fall overnight had Asian traders fearing the worst, and many Internet plays were sold hard. Among the hardest hit was

Yahoo! Japan

, which fell 1.5 million yen, or 5.8%, to 24.55 million ($229,912.00) after reaching a yearly-low of 24.05 million.

Investors were also busy booking profits on large-cap tech shares like

Toshiba

, down 35, or 3.6%, to 949 and

Hitachi

(HIT)

, down 36, or 2.8%, to 1275.

By the end of the day, however, some local brokerage dealers decided the selling was a bit too much. Among the gainers,

Kyocera

TST Recommends

(KYO)

rose 590, or 3.4%, to 18,220;

Advantest

climbed 210, or 1.1%, to 19,390; and

Matsushita Communication Industrial

gained 390, or 2.8%, to 14,370.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index rose 117.04 to close at 15,677.20, reversing the ugly 4% drop recorded yesterday. A bout of short-covering in the futures market, along with property shares rallying helped sentiment today.

Cheung Kong

rose HK$2.50, or 2.7%, to 94.25 ($12.09), while

Sun Hung Kai Properties

climbed 2.25, or 3.5%, to 66.75.

Telecom shares also did well, with

China Mobile

(CHL) - Get Report

up 0.75, or 1.4%, to 54.24 and

Pacific Century Cyberworks

(PCW)

up 0.30, or 2.9%, to 10.80.

Korea's

Kospi

index declined for the ninth straight session, closing down 6.39, or 1.1%, at 571.17. Investors are still fleeing the market on worries over slowing corporate restructuring. Taiwan's

TWSE

index also fell 175.24, or 2.5%, to end at 6734.90.