HONG KONG -- Stocks were little changed or slightly lower in much of Asia Tuesday, giving up modest gains made earlier in the day as traders again cast an eye on the


back in business later today, for guidance on the future of technology stocks.

Japan's key

Nikkei 225

index fell 16.54 points or 0.1% to 16,228.90, while the


index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, lost 6.57 or 0.4% to 1518.43. The


small-cap index gained 1.59 or 1.9% to 84.93, and the Nikkei


index climbed 12.56 to 1729.93.

Mobile phone company



fell 150,000 or 5.3% to 2.7 million, after the

Nihon Kezai Shimbun

reported today that DoCoMo would likely buy as much as 20% of U.S. company

VoiceStream Wireless


. DoCoMo will pay for the purchase after issuing a trillion new shares, the paper said. DoCoMo's parent,

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone


fell 20,000 or 1.6% to 1.24 million.

The market was initially helped by data releases showing that unemployment fell a tenth of a point to 4.8% last month, its first decline in seven months, against expectations that the rate would rise. But the number of employed in April declined from a year earlier for the fifth straight month, and the number of permanent employees fell for the 28th straight month: that means that while Japan may be restructuring, the news is not being seen as immediately bullish for stocks overall.

New statistics also showed that

spending by salaried workers

rose 6.7% year on year, providing some hope that the recent, steadfast reluctance of Japanese consumers to spend their money could be coming to an end.


(SNE) - Get Report

fell 130 yen or 1.3% to 9970.

Matsushita Electric Industrial

(MC) - Get Report

rose 35 to 2530, and



fell 40 or 0.8% to 4730.


fell 270 or 1.5% to 18,020, but



rose 510 or 3% to 17,200.

After a 42-minute failure of the Hong Kong exchange's automatic trading system, but no delay in the expiry of May futures, the benchmark

Hang Seng

index rose 15.83 points, or 0.1% to 13,990.90. Among the big stocks that rose were

China Telecom,

(CHL) - Get Report

up HK$0.25 or 0.5% to 52.50. Property and holding company

Cheung Kong


fell 0.50 or 0.4% to 70.00, while its affiliate,

Hutchison Whampoa


lost 0.50 or 0.6% to 82.75.

Pacific Century CyberWorks

rose 0.35 or 2.5% to 14.40.


Hang Seng China Affiliated Enterprises

index, which tracks mainland-owned but Hong Kong-incorporated companies, fell 2.6%. Computer maker



fell 0.20 or 2.6% to 7.45.



index rose 35.33 points, or 5.4%, to 691.26.

Samsung Electronics

, a favorite among foreign fund managers, was up 17,000 won, or 6.3%, to 290,000.

SK Telecom

(SKM) - Get Report

rose 6000, or 1.8%, to 343,000.


rose 15%, the same proportion as the two subsidiaries that were revealed last week to be suffering from a temporary cash shortage. Hyundai said at the time that this didn¿t mean the group was in financial trouble. The market was cheered after

Standard & Poor¿s

reaffirmed Hyundai Motors¿ B+ rating, a sign that the group may not bail out troubled parts of the corporate empire.



index rose 176.17 points to 8764.42.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing

(TSM) - Get Report

rose NT$5.50 or 3.8% at 151.00.

In currency trading, the dollar was slightly weaker. It recently bought 106.885 yen.