The markets traded mostly lower in Asia as bank stocks were battered across the board, but a surge in crude oil prices powered energy stocks on expectations that record high oil prices would boost profits.
Several Asian markets raced ahead to rack up record gains at the start of the week. China's Shanghai Composite Index closed 2.2% higher as investors piled into oil stocks such as Sinopec following fresh highs for the commodity.
Asian stocks ended the week in negative territory, pulling back from record highs after a weeklong rally.
After a brief pause in the morning session, Asian stocks regained momentum to extend their record run in the afternoon and close higher across the board. Markets in Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea all touched lifetime highs.
Asian markets closed broadly higher Wednesday, having been cheered by a rally on Wall Street the previous day after the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting minutes revealed a unanimous decision to cut US interest rates.
Asian markets swung back into positive territory to close higher Tuesday with Australia setting a new record and South Korea finishing almost flat after an erratic session with stocks see-sawing.
Asian markets finished mixed Monday, with South Korea closing at a new record high while China closed having reached record intra-day peaks. Trading volume was thin with Japanese markets closed for a one-day holiday.
SOHO China shares rose as much as 23% on their Monday debut after investors flocked to the Chinese developer's US$1.65 billion IPO despite Beijing's efforts to cool the property market.
Asian stocks had a mixed end to the week as many investors stayed out of the market in the run-up to the U.S. jobs data due later Friday. Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese stocks were weaker, but the Heng Seng enjoyed a late-session rally.
Asian stocks finished mostly lower Thursday as losses in the chip sector pulled the major indexes into the red, following a negative report on Intel.
Asian stocks finished mixed Wednesday following a late-session decline in Hong Kong and Singapore as investors took profits in the wake of a two-day rally.
Henderson Land Development said it will pay $5.5 billion to buy unit Henderson Investment's entire interest in Hong Kong & China Gas Co, marking the end of the group's marathon reorganization.
Asian markets finished higher across the board Tuesday, with Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and South Korea in record-breaking territory lifted by financial companies after big banks, including Citigroup, set out their losses from subprime crisis, raising hopes that the worst may be over.
Asian markets finished broadly in positive territory Monday, with Singapore seeing the best of the day's gains. Japan and South Korea both finished higher but Australia gave up earlier gains to close just a touch lower.
Asian markets finished the week mixed Friday with Australia setting a new record as the surge in oil and commodity prices boosted shares of resource producers. But Japanese stocks lost steam after yesterday's advance and finished the day weaker.
Asian markets closed higher across the board Thursday, with banking and technology stocks climbing after gains on Wall Street. Australia closed at a new peak while Japan finished at a six-week high.
Asian stocks finished mostly in the green Wednesday, following a quiet trading day with a couple of markets closed for public holidays. The U.S. dollar hit another record low against the euro after weak U.S. economic data boosted expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again next month.
Renewed concerns about credit markets and a slide in the U.S. dollar hurt some Asian financial and technology stocks Tuesday, but higher metals prices pushed Australian shares to close at a record high.
Shares of China Eastern Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Air China nose-dived on Tuesday after Air China and Cathay said they would not proceed with a plan to buy a slice of China Eastern. .
Asian markets closed firmly higher Monday with Australia setting a new record close, though trading was light due to holidays in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.