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Asian Markets Update: Tokyo's Pocket of Strength Holds on Weak Day

Telcos and banks help the Nikkei offset the tech damage caused by Sony's lackluster earnings.
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TOKYO -- Most Asian equity markets closed lower Thursday, as the


5.6% slide Wednesday put pressure on the region's technology issues.

Tokyo was the one exception to the downtrend, as the

Nikkei 225

closed up a paltry 18.0 points, or 0.1%, at 14,858.4 and the


index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange

, crept 0.8 higher to 1408.0.






both tanked, as solid first-half earnings reports failed to inspire investors. NEC lost 120 yen, or 5.4%, to 2,115 ($19.54) and Fujitsu fell 200 yen, or 8.9%, to 2,050.



, which released disappointing earnings after the market's close, ended down 60 yen, or 0.6%, at 10,350.

Telcos and banks helped offset some of the tech damage, however, as

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone


rose 10,000 yen, or 1%, to 1.01 million and

Tokai Bank

closed up 21 yen, or 3.8%, at 575.

The dollar traded at 108.24 yen, up from 107.91 yen Wednesday.

The Nasdaq's drop weighed more heavily on indices throughout the rest of the region Thursday, as South Korea's


index slid 18.7, or 3.4%, to close at 523.7; Taiwan's


index fell 81.9, or 1.4%, to finish at 5941.9; and Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index dipped 64.9, or 0.4%, to end the day at 14,996.2.