Around the World's Markets: Tokyo

STOCKS STRUGGLED to a slightly higher finish, as profit-taking on export-orientated companies sapped the markets' energy after a strong rise the previous day.

Traders said relief at the Bank of Japan's firm stance to check the yen's advance against the dollar was offset by worries over whether recent investor confidence in Japan's economy would last.

The Nikkei 225 closed up 38.8 points at 17,777.6, after briefly touching 17,828, a new intraday high for 1999.