Around the World's Markets: Tokyo

THE BENCHMARK Nikkei 225 average closed marginally lower amid profit taking ahead of the fiscal year end on 31 March. The Nikkei closed down 34.07 points - or 0.23 per cent - at 14,465.18.

Market sentiment was hit by doubts over the feasibility of government plans to buy stocks to stabilise the faltering Japanese market. One dealer said: "Uncertainty as to whether the government will be able to implement plans by the end of March has made buyers cautious."