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Asian Markets Update: Nikkei Rises After Reaching Key Support Level

Fund managers gave action to large-cap tech shares on a quiet market day.

TOKYO -- Japanese shares climbed higher after mutual and pension fund managers vigorously picked up selected technology shares in an otherwise lethargic trading day.

The

Nikkei 225

index rose 150.29 to close at 16,190.52, while the

Topix

index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, gained 12.11 to end the day at 1483.05. The

Jasdaq

small-cap index lost 0.22 to finish at 78.10, while the Nikkei

over-the-counter

index shed 10.71 to stand at 1644.15.

A host of fund managers emerged after the Nikkei 225 index hit a key psychological support level of 16,000, which also reassured investors that a firm bottom to the market finally had been found. That said, institutional investors are still looking to offload their cross-shareholdings in major blue-chips, which puts a damper on the market for another week or so.

Investors seemed to like large-cap technology shares like

Pioneer Electronic

TST Recommends

(PIO) - Get Report

, up 410 yen, or 9.5%, to 4750 ($44.40) and

Hitachi

(HIT)

, up 57, or 4.7%, to 1259.

Sharp

rose 16, or 1.0%, to 1694 after the firm boosted its fiscal 2000 profit estimates to 105 billion yen from previous calculations of 93 billion yen.

Toyota Motor

(TM) - Get Report

gained 20 to 4290 after the firm reopened its factories for domestic car production. Toyota was forced to shut down manufacturing at all of its plants due to torrential rains that hit central Japan Tuesday.

The greenback slowly inched higher against the yen and fetched 106.97 by the end of the Asian trading day.

The rest of Asia also saw very thin trading, with markets in Korea and Hong Kong closed for a national holiday. Australia's

All Ordinaries

index inched up 9.40 to close at 3285.50 while Taiwan's

TWSE

index gained 56.46 to end the day at 7391.66.