By Jonathan Davies

Japan's Nikkei 225 share index hit 20,000 points for the first time in 15 years.

The excitement died down soon after, however, as the index closed at 19,907.63.

The Nikkei was boosted by strong markets in the US, which jumped on strong energy performances, and Asia's largest clothing retailer Fast Retailing.

The retailer announced that it had raised its income forecast by 20%, sending its share price up 3.5%.

There was also a strong performance on mainland China, where the Shanghai Composite benchmark index reached 4,000 for the first time since 2008.