Around the World's Markets: Tokyo

THE NIKKEI 225 share index fell back late in the day and ended down 145.20 at 14,355.45 after failing to break through the "barrier' at 14,500. Traders said the weakness reflected steady selling attributed to the unwinding of cross-shareholdings ahead of the end of the fiscal year on 31 March.

Matsushita Electric, Sony and Kirin were among the fallers. Shares in the real estate sector bucked the trend on hopes of an injection of public funds, and investors hunted for bargains among small and medium sized companies.