Asian markets closed mixed Tuesday following a shaky start to the week. Japan managed to finish slightly higher after spending most of the day in negative territory. But South Korea closed lower.
Japanese stocks rode a late wave of bargain-hunting to their first positive close of 2008 as investors snapped up banks, shipping and railway shares. The Nikkei 225 Average closed 0.1 percent higher. The rise capped a volatile day in which the Nikkei fell nearly 1 percent in the first few minutes of trade to briefly touch 14,365.86, a loss of roughly 6 percent and more than 900 points in the first three trading days this year. Gains by Sony on positive expectations after good holiday sales also helped boost the market through continuing sales of chip-related shares limited gains.
South Korea's KOSPI closed 0.3 percent down at their lowest close since Nov. 23, as investors sold off key electronics goods exporters and banks amid lingering worries over the slowing U.S. economy and jittery global markets.