"Sentiment was getting worn down towards late trade, with players obviously anxious to take profits earlier than in most Decembers because of Y2K issues," said one trader.
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TOKYO ENDED firmer helped by Wall Street's overnight rebound, but the market benchmark pared most of its early gains after a Bank of Japan policy-maker said it may end its zero interest rate policy. The Nikkei average finished a modest 11.13 points, or 0.06 per cent higher at 18,271.85