Around the World's Markets: Tokyo

THE BENCHMARK Nikkei average ended more than 2 per cent higher amid hopes that the government may take quick action to cut taxes to help revive Japan's economy. The Nikkei 225 closed up 319.9 at 14,428 after the tax panel of the ruling LDP party decided that its proposal for an economic stimulus package should recommend cuts in income, corporate and housing taxes.

The government is to negotiate details of the stimulus package - due on Monday - on the basis of the LDP's proposals, which are to be revealed today.