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TOKYO -- With the market bracing for a possible interest rate hike Monday, Tokyo trading was extremely light, but some bargain-hunting in tech shares lifted the market slightly higher.

The currency and bond markets were bracing for a 25 basis-point rise in the overnight call loan rate, which is akin to the

federal funds rate, but many stock investors had not yet adjusted portfolios, traders suggested.


Nikkei 225

index rose 106.00 to 17,142.90, while the


index, which includes all shares listed on the


Stock Exchange's first section, gained 5.70 to 1579.86. The


small-cap index shed 0.49 to 86.04, while the Nikkei


index slipped 7.68 to 1773.91.

The market is still split over whether the

Bank of Japan

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will raise rates, but few investors were taking chances and most stayed on the sidelines today. Should the bank raise rates, traders suggested the Nikkei 225 index would likely test a key psychological support level of 16,800 before any bargain-hunting would come in.

Large-cap tech shares did fairly well, including


, up 700 yen, or 5.8%, to 12,800 ($118.62) and


(SNE) - Get Sony Corp. Report

rising 340, or 3.2%, to 10,900.


, one of Japan's largest department store operators and a recent filer for bankruptcy under court protection, tanked 41, or 77.4%, to 12. The TSE said it would de-list Sogo shares on October 13. Shares of the

Industrial Bank of Japan

, Sogo's largest creditor bank, climbed 17, or 2.4%, to 732 after

Standard & Poor's

issued a report noting that the government's withdrawal from the planned debt forgiveness would not have a lasting impact on lenders.

With currency dealers overnight placing bets that the BOJ would raise rates on Monday, the greenback edged slightly higher against the yen and recently fetched 108.04.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index rose 136.66 to 17,586.16 after key telecom shares jumped.

Hutchison Whampoa

gained HK$3.00, or 2.6%, to 117.50 ($15.07) after several media reports suggested the firm would tie up with Japan's



to make a bid for U.S.

VoiceStream Wireless



Pacific Century Cyberworks

shed 0.25, or 1.6%, to 15.85 despite reports that the

HIS Group

, the company that compiles the Hang Seng index, said it will replace

Cable & Wireless HKT


with PCCW in the index soon.

Elsewhere in Asia, Korea's


index lost 17.80, or 2.1%, to 827.95, while Taiwan's


index gained 229.47, or 2.8%, to 8497.13.