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The Independent Online

JAPAN'S market surged to its highest level in two years after rumours that the government was poised to unveil a larger-than-expected budget today. The Nikkei 225 rose 275.71 points, 1.51 per cent, to finish at 18,567.87.

Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa said this year's budget would be similar to 1998's 17 trillion yen, higher than the forecast 15 trillion yen. The package will contain measures to boost job creation to tackle deregulation and growing unemployment.