Around the World's Markets: Tokyo

THE NIKKEI INDEX closed 1.54 per cent higher at 16,923, boosted by gains in hi-tech issues following a jump in the technology-heavy Nasdaq index in the US overnight.

Speculation that the Japanese government may announce extra economic steps to kick-start the economy also helped market sentiment, traders said.

"The whole market was pulled up as the fate of Tokyo high-techs is closely tied to overall market performance." said Akihiro Naemura, a strategist at Okasan Securities.