AROUND THE WORLD'S MARKETS: TOKYO

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The Independent Online
A PLANNED alliance among Japanese banks sent leading shares soaring above the key 18,000-point level as traders focused on hopes of more shake- outs in the financial sector. The Nikkei-225 gained 218.37 points or 1.22 per cent to 18,098.11. It was the first close above the psychologically important 18,000 since 21 July.

Three of Japan's biggest banks - the Industrial Bank of Japan, Dai-Ichi Kangyo and Fuji - will merge to form the world's first trillion-dollar financial group.

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