Nikkei 225 briefly hits 33-year high

Tokyo's benchmark stock index on Monday briefly hit highs not seen since 1990. The buying followed a rally in New York last week driven by a fall in long-term US interest rates.

The Nikkei 225 climbed above 33,800 at one stage, with semiconductor-related shares leading the way. The index has not climbed this high in 33 years.

Still, the Nikkei Average closed the day at 33,388, down almost 0.6 percent. Investors took profits from earlier gains. They also sold export-related stocks such as automakers on the back of the yen's appreciation against the dollar.

Analysts say upward revisions to Japan's corporate earnings outlook are supporting share prices. The Nikkei 225 has surged more than 8 percent this month.