A rebound in banks and technology shares helped drive many Asian markets to a higher close Thursday, but speculation over the future of the Indian Prime Minister caused the Bombay Sensex to slump late in the session.
The Sensex closed 3.8 percent lower, having suffered a similar drop at the start of the previous trading day, as investors reacted to a rumor that Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India was due to resign, Reuters reported.
Financial stocks were steadier after their recent drubbing, with Australia's Macquarie Bank and Japan's top lender Mitsubishi UFJ both closing higher. But South Korea's Kookmin Bank finished almost 2 percent lower.
Investors bought high-tech stocks such as Samsung Electronics, chip-tester maker Advantest and chip gear maker Tokyo Electron. But Hynix Semiconductor shed 2.6 percent after the world's No. 2 memory chipmaker posted a 56 percent fall in quarterly profits.