Asian markets closed higher across the board Friday, having got a lift from technology stocks and year-end program buying by funds. Most of the major indexes finished over 1 percent higher, while the Hang Seng gained 2.3 percent.
But anxiety over the credit crisis still lingers. The latest turn of events -- the Wall Street Journal reports that Merrill Lynch looks set to get $5 billion capital infusion from Singapore's Temasek Holdings. This coupled with Thursday's news of Bear Stearns' first ever quarterly loss, is keeping investors on their toes.
And with many investors taking off for the holidays, reluctant to take new positions as the credit crisis plays out, the U.S. dollar traded at around a two-month high against the euro and near a six-week high against the yen .
Japan's Nikkei 225 Average finished up 1.5 percent as investors snapped up TDK Corp and other recently battered high-tech shares following gains in their U.S. peers. Hitachi rose after the Nikkei business daily said the firm plans to sell a minority stake in its struggling hard disk drive business to U.S. investment fund Silver Lake.