Asian markets closed mostly higher Friday after comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke raised hopes for an interest-rate cut in December, but China's Shanghai Composite Index ended sharply lower as PetroChina and financial stocks fell.
Bernanke said a resurgence in financial strains had dimmed the outlook for the U.S. economy and the Fed would "have to remain exceptionally alert and flexible."
The major miners were higher after copper hit a two-week high on Thursday on hopes that lower U.S. rates would help boost economic growth as well as demand for industrial metals. BHP Billiton,Sumitomo Metal Mining and Korea Zinc climbed more than 3 percent.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 Average rose 1.1 percent to end at its highest in three weeks as shippers like Mitsui O.S.K. Lines steamed ahead on strong commodities
trade hopes, while a Credit Suisse upgrade lifted steel stocks. A slight retreat in the yen supported the overall market while market players said some hedge funds bought back stocks as they close their books on Friday.